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MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Russian Aerospace Forces group in Syria has eased the intensity of strikes as the Syrian army has gone on the offensive, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, told the media on Thursday.
"The active offensive operations by the Syrian armed forces have been changing the line of engagement with the IS terrorist groups," Konashenkov said.
The chief of Syria’s General Staff, General Ali Ayyoub, declared the beginning of a large-scale offensive by the Syrian armed forces. Since then there have been reports the Syrian military achieved certain successes in Hama province. On Thursday, an offensive operation north of the city of Homs began.
According to the spokesman, the Russian aircraft made 33 sorties over the past 24 hours and attacked 32 targets of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.
Konashenkov said the planes "made 33 sorties from Khmeimim airbase and attacked 32 terrorist targets in the provinces of Idlib, Hama, Daamcus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor."
Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched pinpoint strikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters. The military operation is conducted at the request of the Syrian leadership.
The Sukhoi Su-25 strike fighters of the Russian air group have destroyed a camouflaged base of the Islamic State terrorist group in the mountains of the Damascus province in Syria.
"In the Magar mountains, Damascus province, the airborne reconnaissance detected a camouflaged base where three armoured vehicles and eight off-road vehicles with mounted large-calibre machine guns and mortars were positioned," Konashenkov said.
According to him, two Russian Su-25 strike fighters launched an airstrike on this base, destroying the equipment, as well as the stock of fuel and munitions there.
Russia’s planes have also destroyed an Osa air defense missile system seized by the Islamic State terrorists from the Syrian army in the Damascus province.
"In the area of Eastern Guta, in the Damascus province, the Su-34 bomber destroyed a disguised artillery position of the Osa air defense system earlier seized by gunmen from Syria’s armed forces," the spokesman said.
As a result of using a corrected air bomb KAB-500, a concrete facility housing the complex was completely ruined and the launcher of the complex was destroyed, the spokesman said.
Russia’s combat aircraft have destroyed a professionally camouflaged artillery battery of the Islamic state in Syria’s Hama province.
"Russian drones have identified a terrorist stronghold with a camouflaged artillery battery in Khan Sheikhun district, Hama province. It is noteworthy that the existence of the artillery positions arranged in strict conformity with the rules is unmistakable evidence military professionals with good military training are present among the IS terrorists," Konashenkov said.
After more reconnaissance and specification of the battery’s coordinates Sukhoi-34 bombers and Sukhoi-25 fighter-bombers carried out a surprise massive air raid.
"Accurate bomb strikes wiped out six artillery pieces, ammunition and four cross-country vehicles armed with mortars," Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov said the militants of the Islamic State terrorist group are retreating in Syria, in connection with which the intensity of Russian reconnaissance flights has grown.
"The militants are retreating, trying to organise new positions and changing on the go the old logistical system of ammunition and materiel supply," Konashenkov said.
According to him, the Russian reconnaissance equipment has been registering these changes and the received data, including from the Baghdad information centre, are being analysed.
"Certainly, we have intensified the reconnaissance flights by our planes and drones for the confirmation and verification of this information," the defence spokesman said.
Russia launched an air operation against terrorists in Syria on September 30 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Aerospace Force’s aviation grouping comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the newest Sukhoi Su-34 warplanes, Su-30SM fighter jets, modernized Su-24M bombers and Su-25SM attack aircraft, as well as the Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The Russian Navy has also delivered strikes from the Caspian Sea on the night to October 7 against militants’ objectives in Syria, using Kalibr long-range cruise missiles.
At the same time, Russia has no plans to participate in ground operations in Syria.