Russia is claiming Syrian rebels helped its planes target Daesh in Kweires

Published November 11th, 2015 - 04:01 GMT
Russian officials say the pivotal battle for  the Aleppo airbase was helped along with coordinates provided by Syrian rebels.
Russian officials say the pivotal battle for the Aleppo airbase was helped along with coordinates provided by Syrian rebels.

In the wake of this week's pivotal win by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at Aleppo's Kweires airbase, the Russian Defense Ministry is claiming the victory was helped along with location information provided by Syrian opposition groups. 

Russia Today reports ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters the Syrian government's territory grab broke a two-year-long Daesh (ISIS) siege on the area—an historic victory he said was helped along by the Syrian rebels fighting against Assad.

“Intelligence on the locations of the terrorist fire positions and support points around Kweires was provided by the Syrian opposition and cleared by the communication center in Baghdad," he said. 

The official alleged the opposition also helped Russian planes target weapons depots belonging to Syria's al-Qaeda wing, Nusra Front, by providing data on its coordinates near the Homs province village of Mheen.

This is not the first time Russia's said it's rubbing shoulders with the opposition. Last month, Moscow offered air support to Syrian rebels fighting Daesh—a reach-out almost immediately rejected by most rebel groups, who claimed Russian warplanes were hitting their territory just as much or more than areas belonging to Daesh. 

Then the tweets came. Bizarre accounts from Russian media claimed delegations of Free Syrian Army (FSA) and National Syrian Coalition personnel were arriving in Moscow for extended talks about Syria's future. 

The rebel groups denied these meetings, but the claims kept coming. 

The FSA will likely shoot down Konashenkov's comments again this week, but if it ends up being true, it would mean what happened at Kweires was even more pivotal than we thought. 

By Alisa Reznick


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