MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Planes of the Russian aviation group in Syria have made 33 sorties over the past 24 hours targeting 49 facilities of the Islamic State (IS) terrorists in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Latakia and Hama, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.
"A total of 33 sorties have been made from the Hmeimim airbase against 49 terrorist facilities located in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Latakia and Hama," Konashenkov said.
According to him, the airstrikes have destroyed two command posts of the terrorist groups, three weapons and ammunition depots, two underground bunkers, 32 fire positions in the mountain-woody terrain, nine fortified positions of bandit groups, as well as a shop for making launchers and jet projectiles.
"After fulfilling the combat tasks all planes of the Russian aviation group returned to the Hmeimim airbase," Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov pointed out that several groups of Islamic State terrorists of about a hundred of gunmen each abandoned their positions near Damascus overnight following Russian air strikes.
"Pinpoint air strikes delivered by Russian warplanes in the Damascus province have dramatically changed the situation in this area. Islamic State gunmen, who are running of munitions, are abandoning their positions," Konashenkov said, adding that several big groups of Islamic State militants had left their positions overnight to Monday to head for the settlement of Marj al-Sultan.
According to the spokesman, Russian Su-24 fighter jet has destroyed ramified underground shelters of Islamic State (IS) militants in the Syrian province of Hama.
"A Su-24 fighter jet delivered strikes with guided air bombs at underground shelters uncovered by intelligence services in the Hama province. Shelters had a ramified network of exits in different parts of the settlement," Konashenkov said.
A Russian bomber has also destroyed a command post of a Jabhat al-Nusra unit in Syria’s Idlib province, Konashenkov said.
"Russian drones discovered a command post of a unit of the Jabhat al-Nusra group during air reconnaissance in Idlib province," Konashenkov said.
He added that after additional reconnaissance a Su-24 bomber hit the target.
"The air bomb strike destroyed the terrorist command post and two nearby vehicles with ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns," the spokesman said.
A pair of Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 Grach (Frogfoot) attack aircraft destroyed in an air raid on Monday a large training center for militants of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization near the Syrian city of Latakia.
"A pair of Russian Su-25 warplanes delivered two consecutive strikes using high-explosive bombs in the settlement of Dueir al-Akrad destroying a major IS militants training center, which was earlier discovered by Russian intelligence service," Gen.-Maj. Konashenkov said.
He added that the whole camp and its infrastructure had been completely destroyed after the air strikes delivered by the Russian attack aircraft.
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 attack plane destroyed in Syria’s Aleppo Province a facility, which the Islamic State (IS) used for production of self-made rockets.
"Near Djdaida, the Aleppo Province, Sukhoi Su-25 attacker destroyed a facility, which the terrorists used for production of self-made rockets," he said.
In the specially equipped facility, they made launchers and rockets to fire on the Syrian armed forces and on civilians.
"The pinpoint airstrike and further detonation destroyed fully the facility," the spokesman said.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes at facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Syria on September 30. The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. Hundreds of terrorist facilities have been hit by Russian aircraft. The Russian Navy is also involved in the anti-IS operation.
On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive. Russia’s Armed Forces act on a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011. An international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, held in January and February 2014, brought no particular progress.