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Nobody fought IS before Russian operation in Syria — Chechen leader

October 30, 2015, 17:56 UTC+3 GROZNY

According to Ramzan Kadyrov, "the situation moved off dead center" on September 30, when Russian aircraft launched pinpoint strikes on IS facilities in Syria

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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

GROZNY, October 30. /TASS/. Nobody had practically fought against Islamic State before Russia’s Air and Space Force launched an operation against the terrorist group in Syria, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on Friday.

"The situation moved off dead center" on September 30, when Russian aircraft launched pinpoint strikes on IS facilities in Syria, Kadyrov told a session in the Chechen city of Gudermes.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin made a clearly correct decision when Islamic State terrorists began threatening the whole world. Nowadays hundreds of them are surrendering to the Syrian authorities," he continued.

"Many of them are trying to flee disguising themselves as women… They simply felt a real threat; felt that it was in earnest. Nobody had been fighting them before that in fact," he added.

"Recent developments are showing the real stance of Europe and America," he continued, noting that Western countries could be seen behind every terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

"The situation that has developed there is clear even to a madman. It is clear that these terrorist groups have not just got together, are not just waging a war, all the more for the sake of Islam and Muslims," Kadyrov continued.

"Islamic State, a group positioning itself as Islamic liberators, is a deadly machine invented by Western secret services," he said. The Chechen president said explanatory work among Chechen youth was yielding result. Unlike until recently, there are practically no volunteers to take part in the Syrian conflict, he said. "We also know that many of them who fought on the side of Islamic State in Syria are now trying to flee the conflict zone," he told the session.

Russian military operation in Syria

The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, convened on September 30 to approve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the country’s armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings.

On the same day, Russia’s Air and Space Force started to deliver the first pinpointed air strikes against the militants’ positions. The Russian aviation grouping comprises more than 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

Since the start of its operation in Syria, the Russian air force has performed hundreds of sorties to destroy dozens of ammunition depots, factories for the production of explosives and command posts.

Also, overnight to October 7, the Caspian Flotilla ships delivered a massive strike on the IS objectives in Syria, using Kalibr NK shipborne cruise missiles.

The Russian authorities have said on many occasions that Russia’s military forces would not take part in any ground operation in Syria.

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