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Russian airstrikes forcing IS militants out of Aleppo province

October 26, 2015, 21:23 UTC+3 LATAKIA
Radio communications intercept data collected in Syria’s five provinces from Latakia to Deir ez-Zor suggest that there is confusion within the ranks of the IS warlords
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© AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov

LATAKIA, October 26. /TASS/. Successful pinpoint airstrikes delivered by the Sukhoi Su-24M bombers of Russia’s Aerospace Forces have cut off the Islamic State (IS) militants from the last source of supply and force the IS field commanders to move their troops out of the Syrian province of Aleppo in the coming days, Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian army Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said on Monday.

According to him, radio communications intercept data collected in Syria’s five provinces from Latakia to Deir ez-Zor suggest that there is confusion within the ranks of the IS warlords. The generalised reconnaissance data confirm the correctness of determining the coordinates for Russian airstrikes and accuracy of the pinpoint strikes delivered by the Russian aircraft.

"The most common phrase used by the IS terrorists during the [Russian] air group’s raids, is "damarati-l mahazin," which means in Arabic "depots destroyed," said the Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian army. "The word "kasfun," meaning "they are bombing" is used like a call sign in the militants’ radio communications, which more than thirty times is replaced by the "damarati-l mahazini" phrase," he said.

Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said that radio intercepts have confirmed that the militants are experiencing acute shortage of ammunition for small arms and artillery. Some field commanders during radio communications have demanded from their leadership to urgently replenish the ammunition supplies.

"The "nafidati-l zahair" ("ammunition ended") phase has been pronounced more than 20 times in [the militants’] radio exchanges over the past 24 hours from the northern bank of the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast," he said.

Russian military operation in Syria

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes at facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Syria on September 30. The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. Hundreds of terrorist facilities have been hit by Russian aircraft. On October 7, 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 mounted a large-scale offensive. Russia does not plan to take part in ground combat operations in Syria.

Since October 10, Russia’s aircraft in Syria continued to hit terrorists’ targets conducting from 33 to 88 sorties per day. Russian air strikes were performed in the provinces of Raqqa, Hama, Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib, Homs, Deir ez-Zor. Since the start of the operation, Russian air raids have destroyed more than 380 IS sites. The last days have shown that IS militants have serious air defence assets. On October 15, Russian warplanes destroyed the air defence system "Osa" at the village of Eastern Guta around Damascus. In northern Syria, the pro-government forces consist of 60,000-strong grouping officially strengthened by Russian military equipment and weapons.

More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four-and-a-half years of armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other - as well as jihadist militants from Islamic State.

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