MOSCOW, December 9: Russian warplanes have made 82 sorties, including 32 under night cover, in Syria over the past 24 hours, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists on Wednesday.
“Over the past 24 hours, Russian warplanes have made 82 combat sorties to attack 204 terrorist targets located in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama and Homs,” the general said adding that 32 sorties had been made at night time.
Su-24M and Su-34 bombers as well as Su-25SM attack aircraft are attacking the targets of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria under the cover of Su-30 fighter jets. All the planes returned to Hmeymim air base upon completion of their combat mission.
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. As the Russian Defense Ministry reported, Russia’s air grouping has focused on destroying terrorist-controlled oil extraction, storage, transportation and refining facilities.