Several days have passed since the launch of Russian air strikes in Syria’s southern region, with 27 raids targeting the towns of Tel al-Hara, Tel al-Jabiya, Tel Antar, Tel al-Allakiyat, Tel Masharah, Tel Mtawaq, Tel Mahs and as-Summaqiyat, resulting in a number of casualties among civilians.
According to field sources, the extent of the Russian raids were limited, and were not accompanied by ground operations, with the Russian and Syrian military refusing to issue a statement regarding the strikes.
Russia knows the southern region of Syria is almost entirely free from the Islamic State, the sources said, adding that Moscow’s decision to conduct air raids in the region will likely put it in a delicate situation.
According to the sources, intercepted radio contact revealed the pilots were speaking Russian during their raids on the south, confirming the Russian Air Force was responsible for the strikes. Other indicators also exposed the involvement of Russian forces, namely the aircraft model, the fact that flights were conducted in a squadron, and the use of night raids (a tactic never used by regime forces).
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.