MOSCOW - Russia's air force is conducting dozens of air strikes in Syria daily to support the Free Syrian Army fighting alongside government troops against Islamic militants, the chief of Russian army's general staff was quoted as saying on Monday.
The number of Free Syrian Army fighters now advancing in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa now exceeds 5,000, Russian news agencies quoted Valery Gerasimov as telling a meeting with foreign military attaches accredited in Russia.
"The number of these Free Syrian Army units is rising all the time," Gerasimov said. "Only to support them, Russia's aviation is conducting daily 30-40 strikes. They are also provided with weapons, ammunition and material support," Gerasimov said, echoing a statement made by President Vladimir Putin on Friday.