Russian airstrikes kill 300 IS militants near Syria's Raqqa

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-01 22:36:17|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAMASCUS, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian warplanes struck positions of the Islamic State (IS) group in the northern city of Raqqa, killing over 300 IS militants, the Syrian military media said Thursday.

The Russian airstrikes targeted IS positions in the Rasafeh area southwest of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of IS.

The airstrikes destroyed a convoy of fuel tankers in the area, according to the report, without giving more details.

The Russian airstrikes have been increased against the IS militants, particularly those leaving Raqqa and moving toward Palmyra in central Syria.

A day earlier, Syria's military media said that Russian warships positioned in the Mediterranean Sea fired four cruise missiles at the IS posts in the ancient city of Palmyra's countryside.

It said that frigate Admiral Essen and submarine Krasnodar from the Russian Navy Fleet fired four Kalibr cruise missiles on Tuesday at IS posts near Palmyra, hitting them all, with the submarine firing missiles from the seabed.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Russian missile attack targeted an IS convoy moving from Raqqa toward Palmyra.

The London-based watchdog said the Russians wanted to prove they are also fighting IS and to draw attention to the fact that deals exist between IS and Kurdish groups concerning withdrawal from areas in Raqqa toward Palmyra.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have started a military campaign to strip the IS of Raqqa several months ago, but the actual beginning was in March when the U.S. carried out airdrops of ground forces near Tabqa, as part of its support to the Kurdish groups to capture the city and the key dam there.