Former minister for Portsmouth condemns Russian airstrikes in Syria

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THE former minister for Portsmouth has criticised Russia for launching airstrikes against supposed Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

Michael Fallon, who is now the defence secretary, claimed the bombardments carried out by Russian forces were killing civilians and Free Syrian Army forces rebelling against president Bashar al-Assad’s regime and not Isil jihadis.

The concern comes amid the fourth day of bombing by Russian forces which has prompted international worry over the intentions of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with The Sun, Mr Fallon claimed the intelligence from the Ministry of Defence suggested that only one in 20 Russian airstrikes had hit Isis targets.

‘We’re analysing where the strikes are going every morning,’ he said. ‘The vast majority are not against Isis at all.

‘Our evidence indicates they are dropping unguided munitions in civilian areas, killing civilians, and they are dropping them against the Free Syrian forces fighting Assad.’

Mr Fallon said the airstrikes were aimed at ‘shoring up Assad and perpetuating the suffering’ of the Syrian leader’s regime.

Prime Minister David Cameron has also condemned the Russian bombing raids.