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Russian warplanes hit IS oil facilities near Syria’s Raqqa — Russian defense ministry

June 01, 3:16 UTC+3
Su-34 bombers destroyed illegal terrorists’ oil production facilities near the settlement of al-Taura located 42 kilometers southwest of Raqqa
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© AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File

MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Russian Su-34 bombers hit illegal oil facilities operated by Islamic State near the settlement of al-Taura located 42 kilometers southwest of Raqqa, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in its regular daily news bulletin posted on the Russian defense ministry’s website on Tuesday.

"The Russian air group in Syria continues its mission aimed at undermining Islamic State terrorists’ economic base. Thus, Su-34 bombers destroyed illegal terrorists’ oil production facilities near the settlement of al-Taura located 42 kilometers southwest of Raqqa," the bulletin says.

Groups constituting the international terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) are continuing provocation aimed at disrupt the regime of cessation of hostilities, as follows from the bulletin. During the day, they conducted fire from multiple missile launcher systems and mortars at the settlement of Handrat, Aleppo’s districts of Meydan, Sheikh Maksoud, Amriya, northern areas of Old City, and the al-Nayrab airport.

"Terrorists shelled the settlements of Rasha, Ard al-Wata and Kermel in the province of Latakia, the settlement of Kherbet al-Meri and a checkpoint of Syrian government troops near Kafer-Nan in the province of Homs, the settlement of Haush Harabu in the province of Damascus, and the settlement of Jaba in the province of al-Quneitra. Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen continue attacks on Syrian government forces’ positions near the settlement of Mukheim Handrat in the province of Aleppo. All the attacks were repelled by the government forces and militias," the center said.

Russia’s aerospace forces launched pinpoint strikes against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russian as terrorist organizations) targets in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request from Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Air strikes were delivered at military hardware, communications centers, transport vehicles, munitions depots and other terrorist infrastructure facilities. With backing from the Russian air force, the Syrian army liberated about 400 settlements. Serious blow was delivered on illegal oil trade used by terrorists as a key source of incomes. Key channels of arms and munitions supplies to terrorists have been blocked.

Withdrawal of the major part of Russia’s air group from Syria began on March 15, 2016. As President Vladimir Putin said in a relevant decree of March 14, the Russian military had fulfilled most of their tasks. However two Russian military bases are still active - at the Khmeimim airfield and in Tartus. The Russian military continue participation in anti-terrorism efforts.

More settlements join reconciliation process

Reconciliation agreements have been signed with representatives of two settlements in the Syrian provinces of Homs and Daraa, the bulletin says.

"The number of settlement joining the reconciliation process has reached 128. Talks on joining the regime of cessation of hostilities are continued with field commanders of opposition groups in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, al-Quneitra and Hama," the center said.

The number of illegal armed groups that declared their commitment to the ceasefire terms remains unchanged - 60, as follows from the bulletin.

16 tons of humanitarian aid delivered

Officers of the Russian reconciliation center delivered 16 tons of humanitarian cargoes to a camp for internally displaced persons in the settlement of Deir al-Fardis in the Syrian province of Homs, the bulletin says.

"A total of 16 tons of humanitarian cargoes, mostly flour, food kits and sweets for children, were delivered. One ton of humanitarian aid was delivered to the settlement of al-Malikyan in the province of Aleppo," the center said.

Apart from that, according to the center, infrastructure repair works continue in the settlement of Al-Qaryatayn. Water supplies have been resumed, a first-aid post has been opened. People are returning to their homes.

"Telephone lines are being repaired [in Al-Qaryatayn]. A call office is functioning round-the-clock. Works are underway to restore a bakery plant and the city system of electricity supplies. Trade outlets and shops open in the city," the bulletin says.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

The Russian reconciliation center aims to assist armed groups in Syria in concluding ceasefire agreements, maintain the truce regime, control its observance and organize the delivery of humanitarian cargoes to civilians.

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