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Iran Press TV

Over 50 warplanes, helicopters involved in Syria airstrikes: Russia

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 1, 2015 11:31PM

Russia's Defense Ministry says over 50 Russian warplanes and helicopters are involved in the country's airstrikes against militants in Syria.

Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Thursday that the Russian Air Force fleet in Syria includes the latest Sukhoi Su-24M and Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft.

Elaborating on the details of the deployment of the Russian air fleet to Syria, he said, "The air group was deployed on very short notice. It was possible because we had most of the materiel and ammunition ready at our depot in [Syrian city of] Tartus. We only had to move our aircraft and deliver some extra equipment."

Konashenkov went on to say that in the past 24 hours Russia has conducted 12 airstrikes against terrorists in Syria.

"A terrorist headquarters and an ammunition depot were destroyed near Idlib, as were a fortified three-level command center near Hama," he said, adding, "A direct bomb hit also completely destroyed a workshop north of Homs that produced explosives and ammunition.'

The official further noted that the Russian forces conducted the airstrikes in coordination with Syrian forces.

"All the airstrikes are being conducted in coordination with the Syrian Army command. The Syrian Defense Ministry has deployed an operative group at the Hmaimim airbase," located near Bassel al-Assad international airport south of Lattakia, Konashenkov said.

Russia's airstrikes against the militants in Syria kicked off on Wednesday, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

The first airstrikes were carried out 213 kilometers (132 miles) north of the Syrian capital, Damascus, near the city of Hama by two Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft, according to Russia's Rossiya 24 channel.

Commenting on the raids, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would be open to having "standing channels of communication" with the US-led coalition, which has been attacking purported positions of Daesh in Syria and Iraq for more than a year now.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy and a terror campaign by Daesh for over four years.

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