Warplanes believed Russian hit Syria's Deraa for first time-rebel

BEIRUT: Warplanes believed to be Russian bombed targets in the southern Syrian province of Deraa for the first time on Wednesday night, a rebel group operating in the area and a group monitoring the conflict said on Thursday.

If confirmed, the air strikes on the Tel al-Harah area would be the furthest south Russian jets have struck in almost a month of air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Tel al-Harah is less than 20 km (12 miles) from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Bashar al-Zoubi, head of the political office of the Yarmouk Army which operates in the Deraa area, said: "They are most probably Russian."

The Syrian air force did not mount nighttime raids, he told Reuters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war using a network of sources on the ground, also said the jets were believed to be Russian.