Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’
Russian troops are fighting alongside pro-Assad forces in Syria, state television in Damascus and several reports have claimed.
It is reportedly possible to hear Russian being spoken by the troops in the footage.
In further indications of Russian “mission creep” in Syria, a Twitter account linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, published images of what appeared to be Russian planes and drones flying over Idlib.
And a Russian naval vessel was photographed heading south through the Bosphorus strait carrying large amounts of military equipment, according to social media and a shipping blog.
While Russian military advisers are thought to have been in Syria for months, as the Kremlin tries to support its key Middle East ally, if confirmed, this would mark the first evidence of troops fighting on the front line.
It is possible the Russians in the state television clip could have been contractors, thereby putting some distance between themselves and the Kremlin.
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