Russia begins air strikes in Syria after warning America to remove its planes… but kills 36 civilians in first wave of attacks as it targets anti-government rebels instead of ISIS…
Moscow has started blitzing three provinces in support of President Assad
But all the areas targeted are held by moderate rebels backed by coalition
Strikes have infuriated Washington who accused Moscow of destabilising the region even further – U.S. apparently only given hour notice of strikes
At least 36 civilians have been killed in the strikes, says monitoring group
Russian jets have begun airstrikes in Syria after apparently only giving the U.S. an hour to remove its planes and officials from the area.
The Russian Defence Ministry said it carried out about 20 flights over the country today but concerns were raised that they were only targeting anti-government rebels, many of whom are backed by the U.S.-led coalition, instead of ISIS-held areas.
Syrian opposition chief Khaled Khoja said 36 civilians had been killed in the airstrikes, which also apparently targeted a CIA-vetted Syrian rebel group that was receiving U.S. missiles.
Russia has now been accused of ‘pouring gasoline on the fire’ as the intervention in the Middle East appeared to target moderate rebel positions in support of dictator President Bashar al-Assad.