Russian warplanes are continuing to bomb terrorist organizations in Syria hours before a ceasefire deadline, the Kremlin said on Friday.
“The Russian air force is certainly continuing its operation in Syria against terrorist organizations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian warplanes were targeting militants ahead of a truce deal entering into force.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that Russian air strikes were “more intense than usual” and targeted militants bastions, including in Eastern Ghouta east of Damascus, northern Homs province and the west of Aleppo province.
Peskov dismissed the report, saying that Russia was focusing its firepower on ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant), Al-Nusra Front and other Takfiri groups designated as legitimate targets by the UN Security Council, and would continue doing so after the ceasefire takes hold.
“This is one of the conditions of an initiative agreed by the presidents of Russia and the United States,” Peskov added.
The ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow and Washington calls for a “cessation of hostilities” between Syrian army and foreign-backed militant opposition groups from midnight Friday Damascus time (22:00 GMT).