Russian air force struck 53 targets in Syria in last 24 hours: military

Explosions after airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force on what Russia says was an Islamic State training camp in the Syrian province of Idlib.
Explosions after airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force on what Russia says was an Islamic State training camp in the Syrian province of Idlib.PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's air force hit 53 targets in Syria in the past 24 hours, the defence ministry said on Monday (Oct 12), as Moscow continues a bombing campaign it says is aimed against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Russian jets conducted strikes in the provinces of Hama, Homs, Latakia and Idlib and destroyed "terrorist" command posts, defensive positions, training camps and ammunition depots, the ministry said in a statement.

It said the bombing raids had severely disrupted supply chains for ISIS fighters.

"In recent days, the terrorists are making desperate attempts at smuggling ammunition, weapons, fuel and military materials from the Raqa province to the front line with the Syrian army," the ministry said.

"Strikes conducted by Russian warplanes have destroyed a considerable portion of their weapons, ammunition and fuel for military equipment."

The ministry had said Saturday that the strikes were demoralising fighters, who it claimed were abandoning combat positions and retreating to the east and north-east of Syria.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated at a press conference Moscow's readiness to work with Syria's main Western-backed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army, to find a political solution to the crisis.

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said the goal of the Russian intervention was to "stabilise the legitimate authorities and create conditions for finding a political compromise".