WASHINGTON, December 17. /TASS/. Russia currently delivers more strikes against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia) than the United States does, member of the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, Republican Trent Franks, said at a meeting with defense experts Thursday.
"What's frightening now is that Russia starts hitting more ISIS targets than we are," Franks said, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin "is doing more to fight this ugly evil ISIS [former name of IS] than the president of the United States."
Later, talking to a TASS correspondent, the congressman said he is "convinced that there are ways that we can try to avoid conflict in our common goal of eliminating ISIL or ISIS."
"This may not look like some grand plan of cooperation, but it can mean, that we do what we can to make sure that the mutual goal is achieved. ISIS is an enemy of humanity," Franks said.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.
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 passed to a large-scale offensive.
In mid-November, Russia increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria to 69 and involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants.
Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries.
Russian aircraft have delivered over 4,000 missile and bombing strikes since September 30.