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Russian forces deliver 1,093 airstrikes at targets in 5 Syrian provinces over last 5 days

December 23, 2015, 18:53 UTC+3
A large training camp in Idlib "with many experienced instructors that arrived from coutnries neighboring Syria" was destroyed
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© Russian Defense Ministry's Press and Information Department/TASS

MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces made 302 sorties and delivered more than 1,000 airstrikes at terrorist targets in five Syrian provinces on December 18-23, Defense Ministry official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"Over the last five days, from December 18 to 23, jets of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic made 302 sorties and delivered airstrikes at 1,093 targets in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor, Hama, Homs," Konashenkov said.

A Su-24M bomber destroyed a large training camp in Idlib "with many experienced instructors that arrived from coutnries neighboring Syria." "The information about this camp where most recruits arriving from the territory of Turkey are CIS citizens was received from representatives of patriotic Syrian opposition about a week ago," Konashenkov noted.

A Su-24 bomber also destroyed a command post of the Ahrar al-Sham group in Aleppo, the spokesman said. "As a result of a direct hit, the target was completely destroyed," he added.

Another airstrike was delivered in the Homs province, he continued. The airstrike destroyed three trucks and six SUVs with heavy machine guns that belonged to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization.

Russia’s Su-34 bombers have destroyed 2 oil stores and 3 boring rigs as well as dozens of oversize tanker trucks in the outskirts of the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor over the past 24 hours, Igor Konashenkov said.

"Su-34 bombers have destroyed 2 oil stores and 3 boring rigs and dozens of oversize tanker trucks near the town of Deir ez-Zor over the past 24 hours," he reported.

Russian warplanes which have been delivering air strikes at terrorist targets in Syria since September 30 are not using cluster bombs, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman noted.

"As the cluster bombs speculations, the Russian aviation is not using them," he said following the Human Rights Watch’s accusations that Russia was using cluster bombs in the territory of Syria and that peaceful civilians had been hurt.

Coordination among various forces in Syria stays at zero despite Russia’s efforts

The degree of coordination among various forces that are fighting terrorism in Syria often stays at zero despite Russia’s efforts, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told journalists.

"It is well-known that the US-led coalition, the Syrian Air Force and separately Turkish warplanes have been delivering air strikes at various targets in Syria along with the Russian aircraft. The degree of coordination despite the Russian side’s calls remains low and often stays at zero," he said.

According to Konashenkov, operations by the anti-IS coalition in Syria sometimes fail to match the officially declared goal of struggle against the terrorist organization.

"We have sufficient information at our disposal about the results of operations by all countries of the so-called anti-IS coalition. These operations are far from always in compliance with the declared task — struggle against the terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State," he said.

Russian military operation in Syria

On September 30 Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to launch a military operation in Syria against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces delivered first targeted airstrikes at militants’ positions on the same day. More than 50 jets and helicopters take part in the operation, including Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets, Su-25 aircraft, Su-30SM fighter aircraft, and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. Since the start of the operation, Russian aviation made hundreds of sorties, destroyed dozens of ammunition depots, explosives production plants and command posts.

Islamic State extremist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

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