Syria, Russia start joint air force patrols near Golan Heights

Syrian and Russian military jets jointly patrolled the airspace along Syria's borders on Monday and plan to make such flights regular, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia's defense ministry as saying.

The path of the group, which includes fighter, fighter-bomber and early warning and control aircraft, included the Golan Heights, the armistice line with Israel that has seen regular Israeli air strikes against suspected Iranian and Hezbollah positions.

Russian forces have been present in Syria since 2015 when they helped turn the tide in a civil war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.

This month, witnesses and rebel sources said Russian jets have bombed areas near the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, the last opposition-held bastion.

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