Western publications reported on Monday that Russian ground forces were preparing an assault in Syria after social media activists from the Syrian Opposition falsely spread rumors about Russian Marines being deployed to the volatile Al-Ghaab Plains inside the Hama Governorate’s western countryside.

The falsified reports read that the Russian Marines were preparing to attack the conglomerate of Al-Qaeda factions that make up “Jaysh Al-Fateh” (Army of Conquest) in west Hama after an alleged report of a Russian military convoy traveling from eastern Latakia to the city of Joureen.

According to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), a Russian convoy did not travel to the west Hama city of Joureen on Monday and there are no plans for a ground invasion of Syria; this was declared “absurd” by the Syrian military source, despite the recent arrival of another 250 Russian Marines to the port-city of Tartous.

The source confirmed the deployment of a number of Russian military advisors to the Syrian Arab Army’s frontlines; however, the advisors do not participate in the violent engagements and they stay back with the Syrian Arab Army’s officers.

If the Russians were to launch a ground assault in Syria, they would need to seek approval from the Syrian Government and the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command before they can begin operations.

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