Moscow – Russia has conducted several airstrikes in Syria this week since the Islamic state claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris last Friday. Most of those strikes targeted strongholds of the Islamic State group in Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor, said a U.S. official who wished to remain anonymous.
Russia began the strikes in Syria in September claiming it was a request from Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad to hit the Islamic state, but they have increased the numbers of strikes against ISIS in the past week after it was confirmed that the Russian Metrojet plane in Egypt was put down by a bomb, which ISIS said it had planted.
In the past four days Russian warplanes have flown 522 maneuvers and destroyed over 800 targets, Russian minister Sergei Shoigu reported. Russian long-range bombers and navy ships have launched 101 cruise missiles in four days, including 18 fired on Friday by Russian navy ships from the Caspian Sea.
One of the strikes destroyed several oil tanks controlled by ISIS on Syria. The Russian warplanes destroyed 15 oil refining and storage facilities in Syria and 525 trucks carrying oil during this week’s bombardment. The operation deprived ISIS of $1.5 million in daily income from oil sales, Shoigu said.
On Friday, a pair of Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, which can fly thousands of miles in a single raid, showed what they can do. The bombers flew from a base on the Kola Peninsula over the Norwegian Sea, the North Atlantic and the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean to launch distant cruise missiles on targets in Syria.
Operations against the Islamic state seem to be just beginning. Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the militaries moving but claimed that there is yet a lot of work to do to finish with terrorist in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed cooperating on fighting ISIS during his meetings with President Barack Obama and other Western leaders. Also, Russian army’s General Staff Andrey Kartapolov said on Wednesday that The Russian Armed Forces will joint military operations with the French Navy to combat terrorists in Syria.
“Under the Russian president’s decree, the General Staff is working out joint anti-terrorism operations with the French Navy. With the arrival of the Charles de Gaulle warship to the Syrian shore we will organize joint military operations.” Kartapolov said.
On Friday Russia tweeted two pictures of missiles they plan to fire at ISIS. The bombs had messages on the side, one of them read “That’s for Paris” and the other “For our guys” referencing to the attacks against Paris and the Russian Airplane. The pictures were also broadcast on the Russian state TV.
Russian bomb in Syria. The inscription reads: "That's for Paris" pic.twitter.com/bxaIWCrZfO
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) November 20, 2015