Russia intensifying Syria airstrikes

(CNN)Russia is intensifying its airstrikes in Syria, which it says have “considerably reduced” the combat potential of militants.

The Russian air force began strikes in Syria on Wednesday. In the past 24 hours, it has carried out 20 flights targeting 10 ISIS positions in Idlib province, the Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement Sunday.

Since 2011, Syria has been torn apart by a brutal civil war that has seen the rise of extremist groups including ISIS. Moscow supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and says it is targeting ISIS, al Nusra and “other terrorist groups.”

But the U.S-backed coalition against ISIS — comprising the United States, Britain, Turkey, France, Germany, Qatar and Saudi Arabia — accuses Russia of attacking civilians and Syrian groups opposing al-Assad.

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