BEIRUT – The Free Syrian Army, or FSA, commander General Ahmad Rahal confirmed to EFE on Thursday that the Russian air force has targeted FSA positions in the provinces of Hama and Idleb.
Rahal said that Russian air craft targeted on Thursday FSA positions in Khan Shaykhun and Kafr Nabl in the northern province of Idleb, while it attacked the FSA Al-Ezza brigade on Wednesday in central Hama.
The moderate Syrian opposition is receiving military support from the United States and is linked to The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, which is the main opposition political alliance in the country.
Rahal confirmed that the Islamic State group has no presence in any of the areas bombed by the Russian air force on Wednesday and Thursday as claimed by Moscow.
Rahal added “Russia is attacking areas that are vital to the regime, because they are located near areas with Alawite inhabitants,” a sect of Shia Islam to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs.
The Russian bombing operations were carried out in northern Homs, Hama and Idleb, which are near to the government’s stronghold in Latakia, where many of the country’s Alawite minority are living.
A spokesman of the FSA Hawks Mountain Brigade told EFE through the Internet that the brigade’s base in Zawiya mountain was attacked on Thursday by Russian warplanes, which targeted the base with 15 missiles, wounding only a few people because opposition fighters took shelter under the ground.
He added that another Russian aircraft carried out a second attack, causing minor injuries.
U.S. Senator John McCain condemned on Thursday that some of Russia’s first missions in Syria have targeted opponents to the regime in Damascus, who were previously trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA.
Since the Russian airstrikes began on Wednesday both Moscow and Damascus confirmed that the attacks are only targeting IS positions.
However, the president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition Khaled Khoja said that 36 civilians were killed by Russian air attacks
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin considers information and condemnations published by western media, claiming that 36 civilians were killed in Russia’s first aerial missions in Syria on Wednesday, as “information attack.”