Syria army in 'vast offensive' backed by Russian strikes

October 8, 2015 10:41 AM

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Syria's army announced Thursday a "vast offensive" to wrest back territory from armed opposition groups, as NATO voiced alarm at escalating Russian military activity in the war-torn country.

Moscow has dramatically stepped up its nine-day-old air war against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, with heavy bombing by warplanes and cruise missile strikes from the Caspian Sea.

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