Several hundred opponents of Russia's airstrikes in Syria have held a protest in Moscow.

The demonstration on Saturday in a Moscow square near the Russian Army Theater attracted about 250 protesters, who held placards including one that called Syrian President Bashar Assad a murderer and added "shame on Russia."

Russia says its airstrikes, which began Sept. 30, are aimed at destroying facilities of the Islamic State extremist group. But some Syrian groups claim the bombs are hitting civilians and rebel groups that aren't connected to IS but that oppose Assad, Russia's longtime ally in the Middle East.

The demonstration was sanctioned by city authorities and closely monitored by police. One was woman was seen being led to a police bus, but it was not clear if she was arrested.