Antigovernment Syrian activists say militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) movement have captured several villages near the city of Aleppo.
The London-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights said on October 9 that IS forces had captured Tel Suseen and Tel Qarah from other groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman noted that the advances came in the wake of Russian air strikes in Syria that Moscow says are aimed at crippling IS.
Abdulrahman said he believes only 10 percent of Russia's strikes have hit IS targets.
France's defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said on October 9 that two French warplanes had carried out strikes against IS targets overnight.
It was the second time French forces have struck IS targets in Syria.
Le Drian also said "80 to 90 percent" of Russian air strikes in Syria have been aimed at ensuring "the security of Bashar al-Assad."