Russian strikes in Syria draw ire from anti-Assad opposition

MOSCOW _ Russia pledged to strike targets in Syria as long as Bashar Assad's government continues advancing against rebels, drawing criticism from Syria's main opposition group, which accused President Vladimir Putin of propping up his embattled ally. Russia carried out four air strikes on Islamic State targets overnight, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter on Thursday. At the same time, Syria's envoy to Moscow, Riad Haddad, said the air campaign is also targeting the al-Qaida- affiliated al-Nusra front and Ahrar ash-Sham. With the latter group supported by Qatar and Turkey, according to Hassan Hassan, an associate fellow at Chatham House, that will add to doubts among...