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New fighter jets join Russian Aerospace Forces' operation in Syria — Defense Ministry

October 12, 2015, 13:43 UTC+3

Sukhoi Su-30 fighters provide air escort for all flights of Russian strike aircraft in the Syria

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Su-30 fighter jet

Su-30 fighter jet

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Savostyanov

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Sukhoi Su-30 fighters have been included in the air group of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Monday.

"The Su-30 fighters provide air escort for all flights of our strike aircraft in the Syrian Arab Republic," he said.

The Russian aviation group has been making pinpoint airstrikes on terrorist facilities in Syria since September 30. According to previous reports, the Russian Aerospace Force group comprises more than 50 planes and helicopters. In particular, the Su-24M modernised frontline bombers and Su-25SM strike aircraft, as well as the newest Su-34 strike fighters have been involved in the operation. 

Russian warplanes wipe out 25 IS strongholds

According to the spokesman, Russian warplanes in Syria have wiped out 25 strongholds and fortified positions of the Islamic State with armaments and other equipment over the past 24 hours.

"All in all Russian planes have destroyed the terrorists’ stronghold near the village of Salma, in Latakia province, seven command posts, six field camps and six ammunition depots, Konashenkov said.

A motor convoy, one mortar group and three underground shelters were destroyed in Latakia province, he added.

"Having performed their combat missions all Russian planes returned to base at Khmeimim," Konashenkov said.

Earlier, the Defense Ministry said that over the past 24 hours Russian planes flown 55 sorties to hit 53 targets of the Islamic State.

Russian bombers destroy Islamic State’s transition center in Syria’s Latakia 

The official noted that Russian Su-24M fighter jets  have destroyed a large transit center of the Islamic State terrorist organization with underground shelters and ammunition depots in the Syrian province of Latakia.

"As a result of a targeted strike by Su-24M bombers near the settlement of Salma in the province of Latakia, a large transit center with underground shelters and ammunition depots belonging to the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of IS] group, discovered by space surveillance, was destroyed by non-fragmentation bombs," Konashenkov said.

A large explosion was registered on the site after bombs detonated, and the facility was completely destroyed, he noted.

Islamic State training camp destroyed in Syria’s Idlib Province

The spokesman also said that Russia's Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers destroyed a big camp for training of militants for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria’s Idlib Province.

"Su-34 bombers delivered an air strike on a camp of militants, located near Mastum in the Idlib Province," he said. "The reconnaissance reports the IS used the camp to accumulate militants coming from other countries."

The camp also offered "complex additional training in tactics and explosive technique, where teachers were experienced instructors," the general added.

Islamic State taking ‘frantic efforts’ to replenish weapons and munitions arsenals along frontline

According to Konashenkov,  Islamic State gunmen are taking ‘frantic efforts’ to replenish their munitions and fuel reserves along the frontline in Syria as Russian air strikes have ruined their logistics base.

"In the recent days, terrorists are taking frantic efforts to pull weapons, munitions and fuels from the Raqqah province to the line of engagement with the Syrian army," he said, adding that the bulk of their weapons arsenals and fuels depots had been destroyed by Russian warplanes.

Russia's military operation against IS

In late September , Russian Federation Council unanimously granted permission to the Russian president to use the nation’s military force abroad. Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov said Russia would use only its Aerospace Forces in Syria against Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups upon the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The official stressed that no ground troops would be sent to the country.

Russian Aerospace Forces started delivering targeted strikes against IS facilities on Wednesday, September 30. The air strikes are delivered at military hardware, communications centers, transport vehicles, munitions depots and other terrorist infrastructure facilities. The military operation is conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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