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Putin calls on Russian military not to break up momentum in Syria anti-terrorist efforts

November 20, 2015, 17:59 UTC+3

Russia has intensified its airstrike against the Islamic State involving long-range strategic aviation in the operation

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A pilot of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M frontline bomber preparing for a flight at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria

A pilot of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M frontline bomber preparing for a flight at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria

© Alexander Yelistratov/TASS

NOVO-OGARYOVO, November 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the Russian military taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria not to break up the momentum.

"The tasks are being performed and performed well," Putin said on Friday after hearing reports from the commanders in the videoconference regime. He thanked them for the high performance.

"But these efforts are not enough to clear Syria from gunmen and terrorists and fence off Russia from possible terrorist attacks," he warned. "We have yet a lot to do and I hope further stages will be conducted at the same high professional level to bring about expected results."

The Russian president once again stressed that "a big amount of combat work has been done in the recent several days." "Big teams in the industrial sector and in the state’s defense structures are working to help you solve your tasks," Putin stressed. "All components linked with the implementation of such tasks are being used."

Putin instructed the chief of the General Staff and the defense minister to regularly report about the progress of the operation.

Russia’s aerospace forces launched pinpoint strikes against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra targets in Syria on September 30. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave instructions to intensify strikes delivered by Russian aircraft in Syria after Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov reported that the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner above the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was caused by a terrorist act carried out with the help of a homemade explosive device. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on November 17 that Russia had involved strategic and long-range aircraft in strikes against Islamic State. Air strikes are delivered at military hardware, communications centres, transport vehicles, munitions depots and other terrorist infrastructure facilities. The military operation is conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has repeatedly said it does not plan to take part in any ground operations in Syria.

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