Russia’s Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers delivered on Thursday (July 21) morning another airstrike on the facilities of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) in Syria, destroying two command posts of the militants, the Russian Defense Ministry press service reported.
It has been a third airstrike of the Russian Tu-22M3 bombers on terrorist facilities in Syria recently. The first two attacks were made on July 12 and 14.
“On July 21 at 05:00 am, Moscow time, six Tu-22M3 long-range bombers delivered another combined strike on newly detected IS facilities east of Palmyra, as well as in the areas of the cities Es-Sukhne, Arak, Et-Teibe in the Homs province,” says the ministry’s statement received by TASS.
“According to the objective monitoring data, the airstrike destroyed two command posts of the terrorists, IS manpower and military equipment in a shelter. The Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets that took off from the Hmeymim airbase provided fighter cover to the long-range bombers,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Defense Ministry said that “reconnaissance activity was intensified” in the areas, including space surveillance, which made it possible to discover new targets and “hit and destroy them in real time”, the press service reported. Having completed the mission, all the planes safely returned to their airfields. The Defense Ministry said that the international coalition representatives had been notified in advance of the time of the airstrikes and the aviation passage corridors for the bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
On July 14, six Tu-22M3 long-range bombers that took off from their base airfields in Russia, delivered a strike on the newly detected IS facilities in the areas east of Palmyra, as well as in Es Sukhne, Arak and the T-3 oil pumping station in the province of Homs, the ministry said in a report then. The airstrikes destroyed “a command post, a field camp of IS militants, two petroleum processing plants, many fighters and military equipment of the enemy,” the ministry said. The airstrike delivered by Russia’s Tu-22M3 bombers on militant facilities in Syria on July 12, destroyed a large field camp of militants, three ammunition and armaments depots, three tanks, four infantry combat vehicles, eight vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns, as well as “a great amount of enemy manpower”. “All aircraft safely returned and landed at their airfields,” the ministry said in a statement then.
The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria on February 27. Shortly before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 Security Council member states. The ceasefire regime does not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations as well as other groups ruled terrorist by the Security Council.
Russia takes an active part in the Syrian settlement effort. It helps Syria’s authorities fight terrorists and has conducted mine clearing work in the ancient city of Palmyra. Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to withdraw the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military “have been fulfilled on the whole.” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has repeatedly stated that Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Syria’s Air Force have not delivered strikes at opposition paramilitary formations who announced cessation of hostilities and reported to the Russian or American reconciliation centers data on their location.