Video footage filmed from a Russian drone over the streets of Damascus has been released, showcasing the battle between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and rebel forces in the war-torn city.

The clip, published on the website, affiliated with Russian state broadcaster VGTRK, captures the devastation in Damascus in vivid detail. Smoke can be seen rising from the rubble of various buildings, while tanks and people can be seen moving about and fighting as part of Syria's brutal four-year civil war.

The footage emerges three weeks after Russia began a campaign of air strikes in Syria after the country's parliament authorised the use of military force in the war-torn nation on 30 September.

Russia has moved troops, tanks, fighter jets and other equipment into Syria under the cover of combating militant Islamic extremists in the region. But, as the Kremlin has now admitted, it has also launched air strikes hitting militant organisations opposed to Assad – not only Islamic State – bolstering Western fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin's real purpose in Syria is to help Assad reclaim lost territory.