The pro-government newspaper "Al-Watan" calls the incoming operation 'the mother of all battles'.
At least 130 Russian airstrikes have killed 21 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the past 24 hours in the Badia desert, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The White Helmets reports that Syrian government and Russian warplanes, using rockets and internationally-banned weapons - including vacuum bombs, repeatedly strike residential areas in the town of Al-Lataminah and six villages in Idlib province, killing 22 people.
The human rights group, Physicians for Human Rights, accuses Russia and the Syrian government of mounting the "worst string of attacks" on hospitals in Syria since April despite an agreement on "de-escalation" zones, saying it believes either Russian or Syrian government jets were behind at least five air raids on three hospitals in September in rebel-held Idlib province.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports a drone attack, “most likely operated by the US-led coalition,” kills Abu al-Hija, a high-ranking Tunisian ISIL commander, near the Islamic State's de facto Syrian capital Raqqa.
Russia expands its military presence in Syria with an additional airbase that can accommodate fixed-winged military aircraft. The U.S. Department of Defense also confirms that Russia added S-400 surface-to-air missiles to its Syrian stockpile and armed its military aircraft with air-to-air missiles. According to Military Times, "A Pentagon spokesman expressed concern" these moves indicate Russia's commitment to aiding the embattled Assad regime as opposed to combating ISIL. No Syrian opposition groups including ISIL have combat-ready aircraft that require air-to-air missiles.