Russian air strikes kill 45 in Syria, including rebel commander

Russian air strikes in Syria’s Latakia province killed a top rebel commander from a group armed by President Bashar al-Assad’s foreign enemies, a monitoring group said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 45 people – both rebel fighters and civilians – were killed in the air strikes on Monday evening in the Jabal Akrad area, which is held by the First Coastal Division rebel group.

The group, which fights under the banner of a loose alliance of factions known as the “Free Syrian Army”, confirmed the death of its chief of staff, Basil Zamo, formerly a captain in the Syrian military.

The First Coastal Division is one of several groups that have received foreign military support under a program supported by the United States, including U.S.-made anti-tank missiles, the most potent weapon in the rebels’ arsenal.

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