Russia Launches New Syria Strikes, Hitting Anti-Assad Rebels

The fresh attacks appeared to target Jaysh al-Fateh, which recently made gains against Bashar al-Assad's regime

Oct 01, 2015 at 7:55 AM ET

The Russian Air Force hit and destroyed a mosque in a second day of airstrikes on targets in Syria, killing at least five people, according to Syrian opposition sources posting on social media.

The attack hit the Omar Bin el-Khatab mosque in Jisr el-Shugur on Thursday, according to a post on a Twitter account affiliated with Jaysh al-Fatah, a Syrian Islamist rebel coalition. Five were killed in the single assault, according to the main Syrian opposition coalition, which also said the mosque was hit.

Translation: Five martyrs after the Russian airstrike on Omar Bin el-Khatab mosque in the city of Jisr el-Shughur.

Videos of airstrikes posted to YouTube allegedly show other attacks as Russia continues to target the Syrian opposition. Thursday’s assaults hit the towns of Kafar Nabal, Kafar Zeta near Idlib and Ghantoo, near Homs—all areas that Jaysh al-Fateh controls, the videos appear to show.

In the clips, plumes of black smoke rise into the sky and in one, someone yells “God is great!” or “Allahu Akhbar!”

A video appearing to show more than a dozen strikes on the northwestern Syrian town of Kafar Zeta, near Idleb.

A video allegedly showing the aftermath of an attack on Ghantoo, near Syria’s Homs.

Syrian news agencies said airstrikes also targeted Jabel Zawiya, which is near Idleb, and Latamna, near Hama.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed claims that Syrian opposition positions are being targeted, according to the Associated Press. Cooperating with the Syrian military, Russia is working to hit solely ISIS targets, he said.

But since Wednesday, when the airstrikes kicked off, evidence has surfaced showing that isn’t the case, and that civilians are being killed. A member of a Syrian militia against Bashar al-Assad’s regime said, “The Russian Air Force is killing civilians and targeting headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in the Syrian liberated areas.”

Syrian activists also said on Monday civilians, including children, died in the airstrikes.