Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’

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Russian troops are fighting alongside pro-Assad forces in Syria, state television in Damascus and several reports have claimed.

The video footage claimed to show troops and a Russian armoured vehicle fighting Syrian rebels alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Latakia.

It is reportedly possible to hear Russian being spoken by the troops in the footage.

In further indications of Russian “mission creep” in Syria, a Twitter account linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, published images of what appeared to be Russian planes and drones flying over Idlib.

And a Russian naval vessel was photographed heading south through the Bosphorus strait carrying large amounts of military equipment, according to social media and a shipping blog.

While Russian military advisers are thought to have been in Syria for months, as the Kremlin tries to support its key Middle East ally, if confirmed, this would mark the first evidence of troops fighting on the front line.

An unnamed activist with the Syrian rebel group the Free Syrian Army told The Times: “The Russians have been there a long time.

“There are more Russian officials who came to Slunfeh in recent weeks. We don’t know how many but I can assure you there has been Russian reinforcement.”

Full article: Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’ (The Telegraph)

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