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Russia launches first air strikes in Syria as non-Isis rebels claim they are being targeted

Lizzie Dearden

A screengrab of footage claiming to show the aftermath of air strikes by a Russian plane in Tabliseh, Syria, on 30 September 2015 The US believes Russia has launched its first airstrikes in Syria just hours after the country’s Parliament approved Vladimir Putin’s request for military intervention.

No further information was given but activists in Homs and Hama provinces have posted images and video online claiming to show Russian planes bombing groups of non-Isis rebels who are fighting Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The death toll could not be verified but dozens of fatalities were reported, including civilians, and footage showed injured children being treated in Talbiseh, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) stronghold.



An audio recording was also published by Qasion News, claiming to show communication between Russian pilots flying over Syria.

As the footage spread on social media, American officials told journalists they believed Russia had started carrying out airstrikes near Homs.

An a…