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.
Also read: Syrian Rebels Seize Dabiq From Islamic State
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00:18 Russia and Syria pause in bombing of rebel-held sections of Aleppo
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14:04 Turkey unleashing fury of airstrikes against US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces