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MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The warplanes of Russia’s aviation group have carried out 510 sorties and destroyed almost 1,900 targets on February 4-11 in Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
"Over the past week, on February 4-11, the planes of Russia’s aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic made 510 sorties during which 1,888 facilities of terrorists were destroyed in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Al-Hasakah and Raqqah," Konashenkov said.
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft (NATO reporting name Frogfoot) have bombed nine trucks with ammunition and killed more than 40 gunmen in Syria’s Latakia province, he said.
Three columns of vehicles with equipment carrying gunmen, weaponry and ammunition were spotted along the Al-Qaryatayn-Homs road when the Su-25 jets were on duty.
"An airstrike was delivered on this accumulation of terrorists’ equipment," Konashenkov said. "After reconnaissance check it was confirmed that nine heavy trucks with ammunition, two armored equipment and more than 40 gunmen were destroyed," he said.
Konashenkov also said a stronghold and a mortar position of terrorists were destroyed near Bruma in Latakia.
The Su-34 bomber hit the IS terrorists’ stronghold in the Daraa province. "The direct hit of the guided munition on the terrorists’ fortifications fully destroyed a stronghold," he said, adding that objective control data confirmed that two armored equipment of gunmen were destroyed.
Russia’s Aerospace Force started delivering strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups (both banned in Russia) on September 30, 2015. 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, Moscow also involved the Russian Navy in the military operation. Four missile ships of the Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria.
Since 2014, the US-led coalition has also been delivering air strikes against militants in Syria and Iraq.
In mid-November, after an alleged terrorist attack on Russian passenger jet that fell in Egypt killing 224 people on board, Moscow increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria by several dozen and involved strategic bombers in the strikes as well. 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, with over a hundred of them performed by long-range aircraft.
On November 24, a Turkish F-16 fighter brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber involved in Moscow’s military operation against the Islamic State (a terrorist group outlawed in Russia). Ankara claimed the warplane violated the Turkey’s airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory without violating Turkey’s airspace. The Russian president referred to the attack as a “stab in Russia’s back” and promised that the move would cause response action from Russia. Moscow deployed new S-400 air defense systems in Syria in order to protect the warplanes involved in the military operation and started arming the fighters intended to provide air support to bombers and attack aircraft in Syria with air-to-air missiles.