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Syrian militants training teenage suicide bombers — Russian Defense Ministry

February 04, 2016, 20:51 UTC+3

The youngest of the suicide bombers is 14 years old and the eldest is 16, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman says

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© AP Photo Archive/Abdul Khader Sadi

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Representatives of the Syrian opposition have reported that terrorists from the Jabhat al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar ash-Sham groups are training teenage suicide bombers for terrorist attacks in the governorates of Damascus, Homs and Latakia, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

"According to our data from representatives of the Syrian opposition in the governorate of Idlib, militants from among the terrorist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar ash-Sham formed a group of teenagers who underwent special training courses," Konashenkov said.

"They plan to use them for terrorist attacks against civilians in the governorates of Damascus, Homs and Latakia," he told journalists.

Konashenkov said the youngest of the suicide bombers is 14 years old and the eldest is 16.

Russian military operation in Syria

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 initially comprised 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, 2015, 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.

In mid-November 2015, Russia increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria to 69 and involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants.

Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries.

Russia’s aircraft have made thousands of sorties since the start of the operation in Syria.

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