DAMASCUS – Russian aircraft in Syria had already conducted some 30 sorties and hit “more than 50 infrastructure targets of the Islamic State terrorist organization”, Russian Col Gen Andrey Kartapolov said on Saturday.
“Our intelligence shows that militants are leaving areas under their control. Panic and desertion have started in their ranks,” Kartapolov said in a statement.
“Some 600 mercenaries have abandoned their positions and are trying to get to Europe,” he said.
The official vowed that Russia will intensify its operations in Syria in the coming days, saying the bombing has significantly weakened the militants.
“Because of these results, Russia will now not only continue but intensify its airstrikes,” Col Gen Kartapolov said.
Syrian opposition activists accused Russia of bombing areas held by the anti-Assad rebels in the provinces of Homs, Damascus, Aleppo and Idlib.
Activists reported the death of dozens of civilians in the recent Russian strikes in Syria.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Russia does not discriminate between ISIS and the “legitimate Syrian opposition groups” in its airstrikes.
“As a result, they (Russia) are actually backing the butcher Assad and helping him,” Cameron said on Saturday.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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