MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian warplanes have destroyed six illegal oil production facilities and seven truck convoys with oil and oil products in Syria in the past three days, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff, told journalists on Tuesday.
"Over several past weeks, the intensity of air strikes at Islamic State and other terrorist targets has been increased. Russian warplanes focus on exterminating terrorists’ income sources in Syria," he said.
Earlier, the Russian defense ministry said Russian air strikes had helped to halve the Islamic State’s proceeds from illegal oil trade from $3 million to $1.5 million. Terrorists, according to the Russian defense ministry, have about 8,500 oil tanker trucks capable of carrying more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day.
On the whole, Russian aircraft have destroyed more than 1,200 tanker trucks of militants transporting crude oil and oil products since the start of the operation in Syria, Sergey Rudskoy told journalists.
Russian warplanes have flown more than 4,200 sorties, including some 150 sorties of strategic aircraft, since the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation in Syria, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy concluded.
Russia’s aerospace forces launched pinpoint strikes against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra targets in Syria on September 30 after the Federation Council upper parliament house unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the armed forces against terrorists in Syria. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. 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 Assad. Russia has repeatedly said it does not plan to take part in any ground operations in Syria. In mid-November, the Russian military said they would concentrate strikes on oil production, storage, transportation and refining facilities controlled by the Islamic State and declared a "free hunt" for oil tank trucks of terrorists.