Russian warplanes have reportedly targeted a number of villages in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province after armed opposition groups captured them from the PYD, the terrorist PKK organization’s Syrian affiliate.
"Opposition forces have captured the villages of Tanab, Malikiya, Mathna, Al-Faysal and Sharvaj, all of which are located between the Azaz district and the town of Deir Jamal in northern Aleppo," Abo Mahmoud Nasir, a spokesman for the opposition Al-Sham Front, told Anadolu Agency.
Russian warplanes, he added, were now providing air cover for PYD forces and fighters from the Jeysh al-Thowwar ("Army of Revolutionaries"), both of which were trying to retake the villages.
Local activists in Aleppo, meanwhile, told Anadolu Agency that PYD forces had targeted vehicles on Castello Road in northern Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud area, while opposition forces had fired artillery shells at PYD positions.
Russian warplanes, activists added, had struck Castello Road from the air while PYD forces and the Jeysh al-Thowwar had fired mortar shells at the Deir Jamal area.
Since Sept. 30, Russia -- an ally of Syria’s Assad regime -- has indiscriminately targeted civilian areas and humanitarian facilities in Syria, leading to numerous civilian casualties, according to U.S. officials.
According to a report released this week by two U.K.-based human rights groups, Russian airstrikes over the past two months have killed 485 civilians in Syria and more than 1,000 militants from various armed opposition groups.
While the Kremlin says its airstrikes in Syria are aimed at the Daesh militant group, some members of the western NATO alliance say Russia is targeting moderate opposition groups opposed to the Assad regime.