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MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has no information about the use of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) by militants of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, this type of weapon has not been used so far, chief of the main operations directorate of the Russian General Staff, Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov said in an interview published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Friday.
"We have got information that MANPADS are present there, but we have not seen their practical use. So the appearance of such weapons among the militants may testify to somebody’s imprudent approach to this issue," the official said.
Asked if he meant the potential supplies to the militants of the American MANPADS Stinger, Kartapolov replied: "Possibly."
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.