Russian military says struck 83 targets in Syria over past 24 hours
Russian jets hit 83 targets in Syria over the past 24 hours, Russia's military said Wednesday, ramping up its bombing campaign as President Bashar al-Assad made a surprise visit to Moscow.
"Russian planes in Syria over the past day carried out 46 sorties against 83 infrastructure targets of terrorist groups in the provinces of Hama, Idlib, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor," the defence ministry said in a statement.
The one-day tally of targets hit is one of the highest since Moscow began its air campaign in Syria on September 30 to support Assad's forces.
Russia's military said that it destroyed a bomb-making factory belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra in the area around the second city of Aleppo, where government forces have renewed a ground offensive.
Russia said it also hit a major Al-Nusra field camp in the Hama region and an Islamic State (IS) group command post in Idlib province.
Russia insists it is targeting IS and other "terrorist" groups but the US and its allies -- involved in a rival coalition bombing IS -- say Moscow is hitting other factions fighting Assad.
The uptick in strikes came as Syrian leader Assad made an unannounced visit to Moscow to meet Putin on Tuesday, his first known foreign trip since the conflict broke out in his country in 2011.
© 2015 AFP