Russian aviation group in Syria launches 30-40 strikes daily to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said Monday.
According to Gerasimov, units of the Free Syrian Army, with overall strength of over 5,000 troops, are carrying out an offensive alongside Syrian government forces in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa.
“The number of such FSA units is on the rise. The Russian aviation carries out 30-40 airstrikes daily to support them. We also supply them with weapons, ammunitions and materials,” Gen. Gerasimov said at a meeting with representatives of the military diplomatic corps.
Thus, Russia is “helping the FSA and government forces join efforts to defeat the terrorists,” Gerasimov said.In order to cut the terrorists off their funding sources, a number of Daesh targets have been destroyed, including refineries, oil pumping stations as well as vehicles used to transport oil near facilities and along the routes to the Turkish border.
The general underscored that during the operation in Syria the Russian aviation group has been conducting airstrikes only against terrorist facilities.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was supporting from the air both Free Syrian Army troops and government forces, providing them with weapons, ammunition, and other materials.
The FSA is one of the groups labeled a “moderate” opposition faction by the West. Washington trained and equipped the FSA in the hope that they would counter Daesh, but subsequently shut down this program in October after spending almost $500 million dollars without any tangible results.