MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russian combat aircraft have carried out over 60 sorties bombing 50 facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Syria, Col Gen Andrey Kartapolov of the General Staff told reporters on Saturday.
"The aircraft have been taking off from the Hmeimim air base, targeting the whole Syria," Gen Kartapolov said at the National Defence Control Centre. "In the past three days we have managed to disrupt the terrorists’ infrastructure and to substantially degrade their combat capabilities."
"Intelligence reports say that militants are leaving the areas under their control," he said.
"There is panic and desertion among their ranks," the general said. "Nearly 600 mercenaries have abandoned their positions and are making attempts to get out to Europe."
On Wednesday, Russia’s Federation Council empowered the president to use Russian military outside the national territory. The air operation was launched against Islamic State in Syria at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Earlier, Putin said that Russia would not be involved in operations on the ground.
Since Wednesday, Russian Air Force’s aircraft have been bombing Islamic State facilities located in Syria.