Russian Federation denies report that seven planes were destroyed in Syria attack

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For its part, the opposition Syrian National Coalition group said that Russian Federation has expanded its military operations in each of Damascus and its surroundings, and the Idlib province, killing tens of civilians and causing one hospital to close down.

At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeymim air base in Syria on December 31, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday, citing two sources.

Twenty were killed in Russian air raids in the town of Misraba, while the remainder died in regime strikes and shelling in other areas.

There was no immediate confirmation by the Russian military, which is providing air support to government forces fighting rebels.

Last week, the Syrian government allowed Red Cross to evacuate 29 critically ill patients, including 18 children and four women suffering from heart disease, cancer, kidney failure and blood diseases, in addition to cases requiring surgery not available in the besieged area.

A propaganda statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the victory in Syria, with which he began his fourth presidential election campaign, has turned into a shameful farce, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov has said.

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The Syria Civil Defence said two children and two women were among the six people killed in the air strikes on Arbin, and that another three civilians were killed by government shellfire in Beit Sawa.

"Those forces have been mobilizing near our fronts for more than a month to attack Damascus' eastern Ghouta", he said.

The Eastern Ghouta is designated a "de-escalation zone" by Russian Federation and Iran, the government's other main ally, along with Turkey, which backs the rebels.

"Allegations of actual destruction of seven Russian military aircraft at the air base, "Hamim" - fake", - said the Ministry, stressing that the Russian air group in Syria "combat-ready and continue to perform all their tasks in full".

Kommersant cited two sources as saying that four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35s fighters, an An-72 transport plane were hit in the attack by "radical Islamists", and 10 Russian military personnel injured.

"As a result of firing two soldiers were killed", - said the defense Ministry.

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