MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. The Syrian government forces have destroyed 4,608 facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) with the assistance of Russia’s air task force since the beginning of this year, Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoi said on Tuesday.
"The government troops supported by the Russian air task force are currently conducting an offensive against the terrorist grouping of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State]. A total of 4,608 terrorist facilities have been destroyed since January 1," the general said.
Over the past month, the Syrian government troops have driven terrorists out of 35 communities in the north of the province of Aleppo, he said.
"Control of a territory of over 300 square kilometers has been established. The government troops are currently 1.5 kilometers south of the town of al-Bab, the general said.
Joint actions by Russian Aerospace Force and Turkey’s Air Force are making a considerable contribution to destroying the IS grouping, he noted.
"For this purpose, they are maintaining constant interaction and exchanging information, as well as doing joint planning and delivering strikes. The Russian warplanes have destroyed 892 terrorist objectives near al-Bab," the Russian general said.
According to Rudskoi, Russia’s Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have carried out 36 combat flights to Syria’s city of Deir ez-Zor since the beginning of the year, destroying 34 facilities of the Islamic State.
"The airstrikes of Russia’s long-range bombers in the city of Deir ez-Zor area have played an important role in eroding the combat capabilities and morale of the ISIL militants. The Tu-22M3 bombers have carried out 36 combat flights destroying as many as 34 terrorist facilities. Russia’s Aerospace Force will continue its activities aimed at eliminating terrorist facilities on Syria’s territory," the general added.
On January 18, Russia’s General Staff said that the Islamic State militants "continue to attack the positions of the Syrian troops. In case the city is taken by terrorists, the residents will face a true genocide. The population of Deir ez-Zor may be exterminated." After that, Russia has more than once used its long-range bombers to deliver airstrikes in the Deir ez-Zor province.