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Thursday, 21 January 2016 - 12:55
Syrian Rebels Hit Hard By Russian Bombs
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Four months of Russian air strikes in Syria are taking their toll on rebel forces, strengthening the hand of a defiant President Bashar al-Assad as the United Nations struggles to get peace talks off the ground.

Insurgents in the west are being hit harder, while in eastern and central parts of the country, Islamic State is also under military pressure and is cutting fighters' pay as its oil-smuggling operations are hit by plunging prices.

Rebel groups are reporting intensified air strikes and ground assaults in areas of western Syria that are of greatest importance to Assad.

The government last week made one of its most significant gains since the start of the Russian intervention, capturing the town of Salma in Latakia province.

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