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MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. Russian aircraft destroyed on Wednesday, during their second massive air strike in Syria, 206 terrorist facilities for 126 sorties, the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov, said.
"Yesterday, in line with the plan of the air operation, the second massive air strike was made at 206 terrorist facilities," Kartapolov said at a briefing. "Over the day, 126 sorties were made by Russian Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 aircraft from the territory of the Russian Federation and by operational and tactical aircraft from Khmeimim airfield [Syria].
He said strike aircraft made 100 sorties from Khmeimim airfield and destroyed 190 terrorist facilities, among them 58 command posts, 41 ammunition depots, 17 strongholds and defensive positions and 74 concentration areas.
Sixteen long-range air-launched cruise missiles also destroyed seven particularly important terrorist facilities in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. Long-range bomber aircraft hit 12 facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in the provinces of Rakka and Deir-ez-Zor.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.
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.
Over 2,000 terrorist facilities have been destroyed by Russian aircraft since the start of the air operation. 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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave instructions to intensify strikes delivered by Russian aircraft in Syria after Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov reported that the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner above the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was caused by a terrorist act carried out with the help of a homemade explosive device.
A total of 224 people were killed, making the air crash the largest in the history of domestic aviation. Following the tragedy, Russia suspended flights to Egypt.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin November 17 that Russia has involved strategic and long-range aircraft in strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
"Tu-160, Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 aircraft of long-range aviation, along with operational and tactical aviation acting from the Khmeimim airfield, have been additionally involved from the Russian territory to destroy gangs," Shoigu said.