7 Dec 2017 18:43

Russian Tu-22M3 bombers deliver 14 group airstrikes in Syria over past month - Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Dec 7 (Interfax-AVN) - Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers acting from airfields in Russian territory have carried out 84 missions and delivered 14 group airstrikes in Syria over the past month, Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, said in a news briefing on Thursday.

"Over the past five days of the Syrian government forces offensive supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft, over 550 terrorists, including about 130 suicide bombers, have been killed in this area and six tanks, 14 SVBIEDs [suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices], and 91 pick-up trucks with large-caliber machineguns installed on them have been destroyed," Rudskoi said.

Government forces are currently 'mopping up' and demining the liberated communities, he said.

In the final stage of the operation, the advancing forces had to oppose an enemy armed with heavy weapons and mercenaries from different countries, he said.

"The successful actions have resulted in liberating the last part of Syrian territory that remained under control of the ISIL group [banned in Russia]. The best trained terrorists armed with heavy weapons were operating there along with foreign mercenaries," Rudskoi said.