Russian Air Strikes Finally Strike ISIS In Its Capital

But Syrian activists claim civilians and opposition rebels have also been targeted by the Russians

Oct 02, 2015 at 11:50 AM ET

Russia’s air force has turned its attention towards ISIS targets in Syria for the first time, three days into its bombing campaign in the country, by bombing Raqqa, the capital of the group’s self-declared caliphate.

Moscow said it hit ISIS in Raqqa, as well as 11 other places, and said it killed 12 of its fighters near the city, although this couldn’t be independently verified. The militant group has not yet officially commented on the new Russian attacks, but local activists in Raqqa reported that ISIS banned Friday prayers at three mosques in Al-Tabaqa, near Raqqa, and evacuated a number of mosques in fear of possible air raids.

While Russia has insisted all along that ISIS has borne the brunt of its airstrikes, Syrian activists on the ground claim Russia is still hitting civilians and government rebels, including the suburbs of Hama and Idlib, where ISIS hasn’t had a presence since January last year. Activists also say five civilians were killed in a Russian airstrike in al-Habit village, near Idlib, posting names and images of the dead, including a little girl named Raghad said to be five years old. Activist Hadi el-Abdallah posted video online showing a hospital where injured people including children were being cared for.

Translation: Raghad Alaa Khanfoura, five years old, killed in Russian airstrike.