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Russian Aerospace Forces destroy over 10 terrorist strongholds in Syria killing 50 gunmen

February 24, 17:58 UTC+3
According to the spokesman, the airstrike completely destroyed terrorists’ engineering structures, neutralized more than 50 gunmen, disabled a tank and three terrain vehicles carrying heavy weapons
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© Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry's Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, February 24 /TASS/. Russian warplanes have attacked almost 200 terrorist targets in five Syrian provinces over the past 2 days, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists on Wednesday.

"[The planes] have made 62 sorties to attack 187 targets in the Syrian provinces of Hama, al-Raqqah, Deir ez Zor, Aleppo and Homs over the past 2 days," Konashenkov said.

He added that the strikes had become less intensive in the [Syrian] provinces where the local authorities and representatives of terrorist armed groups had already declared their intention to cease fire and begin truce negotiations.

"It primarily applies to those areas of the Syrian Arab Republic where the local authorities and representatives of the armed groups have announced their desire to cease fire and begin truce negotiations," Konashenkov explained.

"The Russian planes are delivering no strikes [in these provinces]," the general said.

According to the official, Russia’s Sukhoi Su-34 bomber has destroyed more than 10 terrorist strongholds on the dominant hills near the Ithrya settlement neutralizing more than 50 gunmen.

"The Su-34 bomber has destroyed more than 10 enemy strongholds near Ithrya settlement located on the dominant hills," he said.

Konashenkov noted the airstrike completely destroyed terrorists’ engineering structures, neutralized more than 50 gunmen, disabled a tank and three terrain vehicles carrying heavy weapons.

In addition to that, Su-34 conducted an airstrike on the positions of the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) in Homs province, with direct hits destroying two mortar batteries with the crew and two armored vehicles, he said. The bombers also conducted an airstrike on enemy manpower and military equipment near the city of al-Bab (Aleppo province).

Konashenkov said Russian aircraft destroyed in Rakka province a convoy of 10 trucks carrying weapons and ammunition that was heading toward the locality of Deir ez-Zor.

"As a result of Russian Su-34 bomber strikes, a column of terrorists with all contents was destroyed completely," he said.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed over 220,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011. Gangs of militants making part of various armed formations, the most active of them being the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, fight government troops.

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 deployed 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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