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IS leaders fleeing Raqqa under Russian bombs — media

November 19, 2015, 21:30 UTC+3 TEHRAN
In previous reports, Iran’s FARS news agency wrote that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had run away from Raqqa to Mosul in Iraq
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Russian military personnel at the air base in Syria

Russian military personnel at the air base in Syria

© TASS

TEHRAN, November 19 /TASS/. The leaders of the Islamic State terrorist group are fleeing the Syrian city of Raqqa following Russia’s massive air strikes at the IS targets.

"The local residents watched senior IS leaders and commanders fleeing the Syrian city of Raqqa after the terrorist group had suffered serious losses under the Russian air strikes and cruise missiles fired by the Russian Navy," Iran’s FARS news agency wrote on Thursday.

"Intelligence sources confirm the reports of ordinary people that the militant leaders were leaving the so-called capital of the IS terrorist group after hundreds of terrorists had fled the city last Wednesday," FARS reported.

In previous reports, FARS wrote about IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who had run away from Raqqa to Mosul in Iraq.

Recent reports said about the retreat of the IS units from the predominantly Kurdish populated southern part of al-Hasakah province where the Syrian government troops had launched an offensive with Russian aviation support. Earlier, the Kurdish and Arab armed units had driven IS militants out of the northern part of al-Hasakah, FARS said.

olonel General Andrey Kartapolov, the head of the main operations directorate of the Russian Army General Staff, said massive air strikes by Russian warplanes have totally disrupted the terrorists’ command system in several Syrian provinces.

"The terrorist command system in Homs province was completely disrupted due to the losses. We have registered incidences of refusal to fulfil the assigned tasks," Kartapolov said.

According to him, the militants under the command of field commander Abu Musab al-Suri from the Jabhat al-Nusra group have failed to fulfill the task of destroying Syrian army units near Deir Hanna populated locality in Syria.

Huge loss of life is forcing the IS field commanders to evacuate the dead militants’ corpses from the battlefield at night and dump them in sewage.

"As far as we know, in view of the fact that huge losses make it impossible to bury all the fighters according to the Islamic tradition, the field commanders have decided to dump the bodies of ordinary militants in cesspits," Kartapolov told journalists at a briefing.

According to him, massive air strikes have inflicted huge personnel casualties on the terrorists.

"With an aim to conceal the true losses, the killed and wounded are being evacuated at night time. It is known that a militant with the ‘Abu Obeida’ call sign has been ordered to secretly remove the corpses from the southern outskirts of Aleppo to the Khan al-Assal populated locality," Kartapolov added.

He said that the Russian military used satellites to check the facts of hitting terrorist targets in Syria and received information on the loss of life among the terrorists from the Syrian army.

According to him, objective control data received from planes and unmanned aerial vehicles makes it possible to assess how effective the Russian air strikes are.

"Space reconnaissance data is used to verify the damage of most vital targets. We receive reports about the loss of life among terrorists from the Syrian side," Kartapolov said.

Russian warplanes have been delivering air strikes at terrorist facilities in Syria since September 30 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian military started massive air strikes, involving the long-range aviation - Tu-95MS and Tu-160 strategic bombers and Tu-22M3 long-range bomber aircraft - on November 17.

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