Sunday, November 22, 2015

Russia in Syria Airstrikes on ISIS by Long Range Tupolev Bombers Russia in Syria Airstrikes on ISIS by Long Range Tupolev Bombers.

Syria crisis: Russia, Assad forces launch heaviest strikes on Islamic State-held territory since war began, monitor says

At least 36 people were killed in air strikes by Russian and Syrian jets on Islamic State-controlled Deir Ezzor province on Friday, a monitor says, describing them as the heaviest in the region since the start of the Syrian civil war.

Russia pounded the jihadist group in Syria, firing cruise missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea after president Vladimir Putin vowed retaliation for a bombing that brought down a Russian airliner in Egypt last month.

 Russian military updates president on Syria campaign

PHOTO: Image purporting to show president Vladimir Putin reviewing the results of the Syrian operation. (Facebook: Russian Defence Ministry)

Russia's Syria review:

Syria air group: 69

Sorties: 522

Bombs dropped: 1,400 tonnes

Naval group: 10 ships, six in Mediterranean Sea

Air- and sea-based cruise missiles launched: 101

Enemy object destroyed: 826

Oil prevented from entering black market: 60,000 tonnes

Source: Russian Defence Ministry Facebook, November 20, 2015

At the United Nations, member states backed a motion calling for action against the Islamic State group (IS) a week after 130 people were killed in Paris, the worst such attack on French soil also claimed by the jihadist group based in Syria and Iraq.

"At least 36 people were killed and dozens more injured in more than 70 raids carried out by Russian and Syrian planes against several districts in Deir Ezzor," Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

He described the raids, which targeted several large cities and smaller towns in the province and three oil fields, as "the worst bombardment of the region since the start of the uprising in 2011".

The province and most of the provincial capital is held by IS militants, with the exception of the military airport and a few areas controlled by the regime.

Russia began bombing in Syria in September at the request of its long-standing ally, president Bashar al-Assad, while a US-led coalition is conducting its own air campaign against IS.

Mr Putin this week pledged to hunt down and "punish" those behind a bombing that brought down a passenger jet in Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board in an attack claimed by IS.

Moscow claimed to have killed more than 600 fighters after hitting seven targets in the Raqqa, Idlib and Aleppo provinces, its defence minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

YOUTUBE: Russian military video purports to show aerial bombing of eastern Syria. (Russian Defence Ministry)

It was the second time that warships have been used since the start of the bombing campaign on September 30.

Mr Putin praised the Russian operation in Syria — its largest foreign intervention outside the former Soviet Union since it occupied Afghanistan in 1979 — but said it was "still not sufficient" to wipe out the jihadists in the country.

IS capitalising on Syrian horrors

As long as the West fails to act against the Assad government, Islamic State will continue to flourish, writes Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill.

The UN Security Council has backed a French-drafted measure calling on member states to "take all necessary measures" to fight IS, a week after the Paris attack.

The US-led coalition fighting IS said on Monday it had destroyed 116 fuel trucks used by the jihadists in eastern Syria in one of its largest raids in weeks.

IS reportedly makes millions of dollars in revenue from oil fields under its control, and the coalition has regularly targeted oil infrastructure held by the group.

An investigation by British newspaper The Financial Times last month estimated the jihadists reap some $US1.5 million a day from oil, based on the price of $45 a barrel.
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