Last updated: 5 October, 2015

Russia claims air force hit ’10 Islamic State targets’ in Syria

Russian jets struck 10 Islamic State targets in Syria Monday, the defence ministry said, as Moscow ramped up its aerial campaign with bombardments that for the first time targeted the Damascus area.

“Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25 carried out 15 sorties from the Hmeimim airbase in the afternoon,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that 10 facilities had been struck on the sixth day of Moscow’s military intervention in Syria.

The raids notably destroyed an Islamic State command centre and communications hub in a mountainous area of Damascus province, the statement said.

They also destroyed IS command centres in the northern province of Aleppo, around 20 tanks and two ammunition depots in the eastern province of Homs, as well as 30 vehicles, including armoured vehicles, in northwestern Idlib province.

Russian fighter jets launched their bombing campaign in Syria on Wednesday in support of the war-torn country’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow insists it is only targeting Islamic State militants but Ankara and its Western allies have accused Russia of attacking moderate Syrian rebel forces.

Earlier on Monday, the Russian defence ministry said its jets had struck nine IS sites in Syria over the past 24 hours, hitting command centres, weapon caches, artillery and communication posts in the Syrian provinces of Homs, Idlib and Latakia.