Fierce battles in central Syria amid Russian airstrikes

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, Syrian army rocket launchers fire near the village of Morek in Syria. The Syrian army has launched an offensive this week in central and northwestern Syria aided by Russian airstrikes. CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say. Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. (AP Photo/Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state media and opposition activists are reporting fierce clashes in central Syria as government forces backed by Russian warplanes try to advance against insurgents.

State-run news agency SANA said Saturday that troops seized full control of the village of Atshan in the northern countryside of Hama province.

Syrian government troops launched a ground offensive concentrated in Hama and Idlib provinces earlier this week, marking the first major combined air-and-ground assault since Moscow began its military campaign in the country on Sept. 30.

Russian officials say their airstrikes are targeting mainly Islamic State militants, but most of the strikes are hitting areas where the extremist group is not present.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s