The Russian Air Force has begun carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, the country’s Defense Ministry said.
“In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, Vladimir Putin, warplanes of the Russian Air Space Forces today [Wednesday] have started an aerial operation, involving pinpoint strikes on ground targets of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists in Syria,” spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said.
The Russia airstrikes are targeting military equipment, communication centers, vehicles, arms and fuel depots, belonging to IS terrorists, Konashenkov added.
Russia’s Rossiya 24 channel said that the first airstrikes were carried out by two Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircrafts “213km north of [the Syrian capital] Damascus” near the city of Hama.
Meanwhile, Syrian state television has named at least seven areas targeted by Russian air strikes. They include areas around the cities of Homs and Hama, which are separated from each other by 44 kilometers.
Earlier, a US official told Reuters that Moscow gave Washington one-hour advanced notice of its operations. The bombing is taking place in western Syria, near the city Homs, the official added.
A Pentagon official also told Russia’s RIA Novosti that Russia urged the US to clear the skies for the operation.
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