Video shows Syrian Islamist rebels, Ahrar al-Sham, firing canon at Russian airbase

The group said they were attacking the Hmeymim air base in response to Russian air strikes against Islamist targets

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Saturday 28 November 2015 13:29
Rebels fire at Russian airbase

Footage has emerged of Syrian rebels reportedly shelling a Russian air base in response to Russian air strikes against them.

The video purportedly shows the fighters from the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham firing a 130mm towed field gun - which can fire bullets nearly 17 miles - at the Hmeymim air base near Latakia on Syria's Mediterranean coast.

The group issued a statement alongside the video saying: "We, the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham are now targeting the Russian base at Hmeymim airport with a 130-type cannon, in response to their fierce attacks on the Akrad and Turkmen mountains.

"God is the greatest."

Islamist groups have been targeted alongside Isis by Russian air forces in a bid to prop up Russian ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Ahrar al-Sham is considered to be an extremist group by the US but has fought against Isis in the past.

In May it was reported that the group was being partially backed with logistical and intelligence support by Turkey in a bid to stop Isis’ advance.

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane which it said had violated their airspace on Tuesday.

It said the plane was still in Turkey when the order was given to shoot it down after 10 warnings.

Russia dismissed the claims they were given warnings as "rubbish".

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