The so-called Free Syrian Army has recently released video footage showing a laser-guided BGM-71 TOWs anti-tank missile being fired at a rooftop where unidentified military personnel had gathered, according to the Daily Beast.
The video identified the targets as Russian officers but did not disclose the exact location of the attack apart from noting that it was somewhere near Syria’s coast.
The building is believed to be located in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, where Russia has constructed forward operating bases and airfields to carry out airstrikes and artillery shelling against Daesh (ISIL) at the request of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Free Syrian Army militant operating a US-made BGM-71 TOW missile in Syria.
The report cited open-source intelligence and reporting from Syrian opposition, Turkish, and Russian sources as evidence that at least one high-ranking Russian military official has been killed since the beginning of Moscow’s aerial campaign in the Arab country in late September, last year.
About an hour after the video was first released, TASS news agency reported that a Russian officer who had been advising the Syrian army had indeed been killed in Syria as a result of a Daesh mortar attack on a military garrison.
A couple of hours later, an opposition group known as the Revolutionary Forces of Syria pinpointed the rooftop attack to the Jabal al-Akrad mountain region of Salma in northern Latakia, where recently the Syrian army scored a major victory against terrorists.
Later on, a pro-opposition group named Local Coordination Committees, reported the precise coordinates of the attack, saying “15 militants, including 3 Russian officers and 4 Assad’s forces officers [sic]” had been killed by a TOW in Marj Khawkha, a village outside Salma, where media reports have confirmed presence of Russian forces.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency also confirmed the report, specifying that four Russian generals were among 15 officials killed in the Jabal al-Akrad strike.
Russian and American military officials have so far declined to comment on the matter.