Russian Aviation Destroys 72 ISIL Targets in Syria
17:08 22.10.2015(updated 20:49 22.10.2015)
Terrorist targets have been destroyed in the Syrian provinces of Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Aleppo, Damascus, and Deir ez-Zor.
Russian warplanes have carried out 53 sorties in Syria over the past 24 hours destroying 72 ISIL targets, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday in a televised interview from the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
Russian Su-24 and Su-25SM combat aircraft have destroyed terrorist facilities in the Syrian provinces of Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Aleppo, Damascus, and Deir ez-Zor, he added.
The defense ministry spokesman denied reports that Russian warplanes use cluster munitions in civilian-populated areas in Syria.
'Especially absurd are… unfounded stories regarding the alleged use of cluster munitions by our aviation in areas where there are civilians. It appears that our American colleagues have yet to define the goals of their declared war against the Islamic State,' Konashenkov told Rossiya-24 television.
He also questioned the Pentagon's explanation that the US-led coalition aircraft carry out less sorties because they 'see no targets in Syria'. According to Konashenkov, the number of potential targets has significantly increased, as militants are moving their forces from the Raqqa province and Iraq to Syria's west. The Russian Defense Ministry believes the terrorists are attempting to send trucks with arms and ammunition to the combat area.
Konashenkov said foreign journalists were invited to the Hmeymim air base to observe how the Russian air group in Syria operates 'with their own eyes'
The Russian airstrikes on the ISIL facilities are becoming increasingly efficient, the Defense Ministry spokesman stressed.
'If at earlier stages [of the operation] Russian aircraft operated in pairs, now each crew destroys at least two confirmed targest in one sortie thanks to their good knowledge of the terrain,' he said.
Russia started precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syria's internationally recognized government. The Russian airstrikes hit targets that are chosen based on intelligence collected by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
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