Russian President Vladimir Putin says no civilians have been hurt in Syria as a result of Russian air strikes. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
The civilian population was not hurt in Syria as a result of Russian air strikes, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (October 1) at the meeting of the civil society and human rights council. Putin pointed out that Russia was not the first country to carry out air raids in the Middle Eastern country, struck by civil war. "Other countries have been carrying out strikes on the Syrian territory for more than a year, without the UN Security Council resolution and without the respective request to the Syria's official authorities. We have (made) such a request. And we have the intention of fighting specifically against terrorist organizations," president said. The Russian Defence Ministry said it had carried out about 20 flights over Syria on Wednesday (September 30), hitting eight Islamic State targets. Russian air strikes in Syria killed at least 36 civilians and targeted areas where Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked fighters are not present, the head of the Western-backed Syrian political opposition said. On the second day of their air campaign Russian jets struck targets near the cities of Hama and Homs in western Syria. Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck are mostly held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey. The Russian leader dismissed the allegations of victims among the civilians as informational attacks. "As to different information in the media, saying that there are victims among the civilians, we are ready for these informational attacks. I am drawing your attention to the fact that the first information about victims among the civilian population appeared before our planes were in the air," he said.