RUSSIA - SYRIA

Russia says it hit 12 IS group targets in latest Syria strikes

Komsomolskaya Pravda, AFP |Russian Sukhoi Su-30 SM fighter jets land at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia, on October 3, 2015

Russian jets carried out air strikes on 12 Islamic State (IS) group sites in Syria on Tuesday, the defence ministry in Moscow said.

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The Russian warplanes hit the region around the eastern city of Deir Ezzor and in the provinces of Damascus, Idlib and Latakia, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the planes hit "logistical infrastructure, command posts, training camps and bases" belonging to IS jihadists in some 20 sorties.

In their first strikes in the region around Deir Ezzor, the jets dropped bunker-busting bombs to destroy two IS command posts, the statement said.

The Islamic State group controls most of the Deir Ezzor province and about half of the city and has clashed fiercely with Syrian government forces over a military airport adjacent to the city.

Elsewhere, Moscow said it hit IS fighters and a weapons plant in the Ghuta region in the Damascus province.

In the Idlib province the strikes reportedly hit three field camps, including one that intercepted radio traffic suggested was holding foreign fighters.

In the coastal Latakia province, the strikes purportedly hit a fortified IS base setting off wider explosions.

There was no mention in the defence ministry's roundup of a bombing near the city of Palmyra after Moscow denied it had hit the IS-held UNESCO World Heritage site despite reports of strikes there by Syrian state TV.

Russia last week launched airstrikes in Syria at the request of its long-standing ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow says it is targeting the IS group but Washington and its allies fear the Russian intervention is aimed at bolstering Assad's regime.

(AFP)

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