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Russian Aerospace Force eliminates 80 militants trying to move to Palmyra from Raqqa

The airstrikes have also destroyed 36 cars, eight fuel tanker trucks and 17 jeeps mounted with mortars and large-caliber weapons

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Aerospace Force has destroyed three convoys of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia), killing 80 militants, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

"During the night of May 31 to June 1, members of the Islamic State terror group made another attempt to move to the Palmyra area," the source said. "Three militant convoys left Raqqa under the cover of the night and headed south using various routes, their movement was detected by our intelligence," he added. "Russia’s Aerospace Force delivered airstrikes on several targets, killing more than 80 IS terrorists and destroying 36 cars, eight fuel tanker trucks and 17 jeeps mounted with mortars and large-caliber weapons," the source added.

According to the Defense Ministry, the command of the Russian forces deployed to Syria "had warned that any attempt by IS militants to leave Raqqa in the direction of Palmyra will be thwarted."

The first terrorist convoy heading to Palmyra from Raqqa was destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Force on May 25.

The Russian Defense Ministry added that armed units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the US, British and French special operations units, had come very close to Raqqa.

"The city is almost blocked from the north. At the same time, the Syrian Democratic Forces have stopped their offensive so the city still has not been fully encircled," the Russian Defense Ministry’s sources said. "Terrorists have been taking advantage of the situation, crossing the River Euphrates and moving to southern Syria."

The sources also said that the Russian forces command "will continue to take measures to prevent IS units from leaving Raqqa in the direction of Homs and Hama." "The Russian aircraft in Syria are capable of eliminating terrorists around the clock," the Defense Ministry pointed out.