19:57 GMT09 May 2021
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    The Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 1,631 sorties and destroyed 2,084 ISIL and Nusra Front targets in Syria since the start of the anti-terrorist air campaign in the country on September 30, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.

    "Since the beginning of the operation, our jets have conducted 1,631 sorties in Syria hitting a total of 2,084 terrorist targets," Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov said.

    Russian military jets have destroyed 287 terrorist command centers, 155 ammunition and fuel depots, 52 terrorist training camps and 40 plants manufacturing rockets and landmines since September 30, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Andrei Kartapolov said.

    Terrorists in Syria suffer heavy losses due to the Russian aviation's actions, he added.

    "As a result of the actions of our aviation, we have managed to disorganize the terrorist command system and supply chain they had created during a long period of time, as well as to inflict heavy losses upon terrorists, undermine their morale and convince their sponsors that further financing of these criminals is futile."

    Contacts With Syrian Opposition

    The Russian Defense Ministry has established contacts with leaders and field commanders of a number of patriotic Syrian opposition groups, which prioritize the country's integrity despite being opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Kartapolov said, adding that Moscow hopes that this would help to resolve the Syrian conflict.

    "In the framework of a broader international coalition on the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, we have established contacts with leaders and field commanders of several opposition units. These patriotic groups which, despite fighting government forces for four years, hold the idea of preserving Syria as a united sovereign state, free from ISIL and other terrorists of all sorts, higher than their political ambitions. We hope that this step will become a turning point in the resolution of the Syrian conflict."

    The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian opposition have reached an agreement on joint action against terrorists, he said.

    According to Kartapolov, the Russian air group deployed in Syria has already coordinated joint anti-terrorism efforts with the Syrian opposition by establishing reliable data exchange channels.

    He emphasized that "this close cooperation allows us to unite efforts of the government troops and other patriotic forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, which had been in opposition earlier, to present a united front against a common enemy - international terrorism."

    He added that the Russian Aerospace Forces had hit 24 terrorist targets, the coordinates of which had been provided by the Syrian opposition.

    "Today, the Russian Federation carried out 12 sorties against 24 terrorist targets using high explosive munition and high-precision KAB-500 bombs in the areas of Tadmur, Deir ez-Zor, Itria, and eastern Aleppo. The coordinates of all these objects were provided to us by representatives of the opposition."

    A terrorist command center, an ammunition depot, 10 strongholds and 12 artillery positions were destroyed as result of the Russian airstrikes on targets based on data shared by the Syrian opposition forces.

    He noted that Russia has "repeatedly expressed readiness to cooperate with all Syrian patriotic forces fighting against ISIL and Nusra Front terrorists."

    Russia-US Cooperation Over Syria

    Moscow and Washington have started to cooperate in the skies over Syria as Russian and US aircraft have conducted a joint exercise on the actions in case of a near collision over the war-torn country. Russian and US jets have practiced a close approach to a minimally safe distance of 5.5 kilometers, he added.

    "Today at 11 a.m. Moscow time, Russian and US air forces carried out joint drills on actions by crews and land personnel in cases when aircraft fly in close proximity to each other," Kartapolov said.

    "In the course of the training, issues of warning, organization of interaction and information exchange between the staffs of the operational groups and control centres of the Russian Air Force at the Hmeymim airbase and the US Strategic Air Operations Center in Qatar as well as the mutual informing of dangerous military activities in the air space of Syria were practiced."

    The Russian general noted that the cooperation with US colleagues in the framework of coordination with the anti-terrorist coalition and countries in the region aimed to avoid air incidents over Syria was successfully developing.

    "During the drills in a specially designated zone, the crews of Russian and international [US-led] coalition planes maneuvered to a safe distance of 3 nautical miles from each other, established radio contacts on a designated frequency and exchanged messages on the parameters of their flights in Russian and English."

    A 24-hour hotline is established between the control center at the Hmeymim airbase and the command center of the Israeli Air Force to exchange information on flights over Syria, he said.

    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)


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