Reaction to Russian Calls to Anti-ISIL Cooperation ‘Unjustifiably Slow’

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria


The reaction of other countries to Russia’s calls for cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State militant group has been “unjustifiably slow,” the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Putin urged the international community to create a broad international anti-terrorism coalition, to include Islamic countries.

“The Russian president [Vladimir Putin] always talks about the necessity of close cooperation in the fight with today’s biggest threat for humanity. However, the reaction of other countries has been unjustifiably slow,” Valentina Matvienko told the Izvestiya newspaper.

According to Matvienko, other countries seem to be supporting the anti-ISIL fight, yet they are “not hurrying with practical steps to create an international coalition to fight ISIL and other terrorist organizations.”

Russian jets commenced precision airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A US-led international coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria since 2014 without an approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian government.

After Russia launched its military operation, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Moscow was ready to use the information obtained by the US-led coalition to fight ISIL in Syria, calling on coalition members to exchange intelligence on the militant group.

According to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the United States has declined proposals to cooperate with Moscow and Damascus on target data collected by Russian and Syrian intelligence services.

Iranian Planes Bring Iraqi Volunteer Battalion to Fight ISIL in Syria

Iranians take pictures in front of a C-130 plane in an exhibition of achievements and equipment of Iran's air force in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015


The first photographic evidence of an Iranian Air Force plane that brought Iraqi Shiite volunteer fighters to Syria to fight against ISIL terrorists has appeared on the Internet.

A picture posted on the Instagram account of the Iranian group Holy Defense shows an Iraqi soldier standing in front of an Iranian C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft supposedly in Syria.

“This is probably the first picture of an Iranian Hercules made in Syria and the first documented evidence of the Iranian Air Force being in Syria. Flights have been made from Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran and the city of Tabriz [in the northwest of Iran] since the beginning of the Syrian conflict,” a source from Holy Defense told Sputnik.

Iranian planes also bring drones that are used for reconnaissance flights above ISIL military bases, the source told Sputnik.

Comments underneath the picture reveal that some of the Iraqi fighters came to Syria after the beginning of Russian anti-ISIL airstrikes in Syria.

Apart from Iraqi volunteer fighters, the Iranian planes brought with them arms and military equipment, Holy Defense said.

Russian planes in Syria destroy warehouse containing terrorists’ anti-tank weapons

Over the past two days Russian planes flew 81 sorties to hit 263 terrorist targets in Syria’s eight provinces

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Sukhoi-25 planes have destroyed a warehouse in Syria’s Idlib province containing anti-tank missiles meant for the terrorist group Jabhat al Nusra, Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov has said.

“In the area of Maarat al Nu’man, Idlib province, according to data obtained through the joint information centre in Baghdad, a batch of anti-tank missiles had been delivered to a warehouse several days ago,” Konashenkov said, adding that the weapons were addressed to militants for destroying the Syrian troops’ advancing armour.

“After this information was confirmed by several other sources a pair of Sukhoi-25 fighter-bombers attacked the target. The warehouse and the stored ammunition was destroyed,” Konashenkov said.

Russian air group wipes out Islamic State stronghold 30 km away from Palmira

According to the spokesperson Russia’s Sukhoi-24 bomber has wiped out an Islamic State stronghold near the community of Tadmor, 30 kilometers away from Palmira.

“In the area of the community of Tadmor, Homs province, a Sukhoi-24 bomber has destroyed a large stronghold of the Islamic State, a tank in a firing position, an anti-aircraft system ZSU-23 and a mortar battery,” Konashenkov said.

“The destroyed stronghold was more than 30 kilometers away from Palmira,” Konashenkov said, adding that Tadmor was the largest community in this desert area, so its name was used for convenience to denote the specific location.

“Let me point out that Russian aircraft have been attacking only terrorist targets far away from architectural monuments,” Konashenkov said.

It was not the first strike against terrorist forces in the area of Tadmor over the past few days. On Monday, the Defense Ministry said that a Sukhoi-25 fighter-bomber destroyed fortified positions and two ZSU-23 air defense systems.

Russian aircraft destroy terrorist base near Damascus, checkpoints at al-Raqqah

Russian Su-34 bombers have destroyed a base of terrorists near Damascus and checkpoint near the city of al-Raqqah.

“The Su-34 bombers hit two fortified terrorist checkpoints located near the city of al-Raqqah,” Konashenkov said.

Russian bomber destroys Jabhat al-Nusra training base in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province

According to the spokesman A Russian Su-34 bomber has destroyed a training base of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province.

“The Su-34 bomber hit a Jabhat al-Nusra militant training base near the town of al-Muhasan,” Konashenkov said adding that the base’s facilities and explosives cache had been destroyed.

Konashenkov also said Russian Su-24M bombers have destroyed repair shops and seven pieces of military hardware in Syria’s Aleppo province.

“The Su-24M bombers destroyed workshops located in several buildings for the repair of combat hardware of the Islamic State terrorist organization near the airport of Neirob in the Aleppo province,” the spokesman said.

“The air bombs that hit the workshops destroyed seven pieces of the armor located inside them,” he added.

Earlier in the day Konashenkov said that over the past two days Russian planes flew 81 sorties to hit 263 terrorist targets in Syria’s eight provinces.

On Tuesday, the head of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov said that since the beginning of the operation in Syria Russian planes flew more than 1,6000 sorties to attack more than 2,000 terrorist targets.

He also said that Russian planes attacked an Islamic State base with an arms cache and command post in a mountain gorge near Damascus.

Russian Defense Ministry gets impression location of IS facilities is US state secret

Victoria Nuland told Congress hearings that the Russian air group in Syria delivered most of its strikes at regions no longer under the control of President Assad’s regime rather than at terrorists

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov

MOSCOW, November 5 /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry denies US allegations that Russian warplanes in Syria are bombing regions, which are out of President Assad’s control, rather than terrorist infrastructure, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

He explained that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told Congress hearings held earlier that the Russian air group in Syria delivered most of its strikes at regions which were no longer under the control of President Assad’s regime rather than at terrorists.

“If we analyze what various US officials say, there is an impression that the location of terrorist-held facilities is the most classified state secret in the United States. Representatives of the Pentagon and the State Department keep mentioning them all the time without specifying their exact location,” Konashenkov said.

Once again, he stressed that the Russian air group in Syria was not bombing regions or areas but objects of terrorist infrastructure.

Konashenkov recalled that Russia had officially handed over maps with detailed information on terrorist-controlled regions and facilities to the military attaches of countries members of the US-led coalition.

“Please note that neither the State Department nor the Pentagon has denied the information which we provided to them. Therefore, I believe, that comments are unnecessary,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman concluded.

Russian arms exporter praises Syria for timely payments for arms supplies

© AP Photo/Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Syria and almost all Middle East countries receiving Russian armaments pay for arms supplies in full and on time, state weapons exporter Rosoboronexport CEO Anatoly Isaikin said on Thursday.

“But almost all the countries, including Syria and other states in that unstable region, are paying the full cost within the time limits stipulated in the contracts,” he added.

The Rosoboronexport head said he agreed with the statement that Russia’s military operation in Syria “is good testimony for Russian armaments.”

“The efficiency of weapons in combat conditions is good testimony for this weaponry and, at the same time, inefficient use is bad testimony. So far, Russian armaments have good testimony precisely because they operate quite efficiently,” he said.

Russian military operation in Syria

Russia started a military operation against the Islamic State terrorist group in the Syrian territory at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 30. The air group in Syria includes more than 50 warplanes, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers; Su-25 assault aircraft; Su-30SM fighter jets as well as Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

The Russian pilots have made over 1,600 combat sorties and delivered air strikes at over 2,000 terrorist facilities since the military operation started.

Besides, overnight to October 7, the Caspian Flotilla ships delivered a massive strike at the IS objectives in Syria, using Kalibr NK shipborne cruise missiles.

The Russian authorities have said on many occasions that Russia’s military forces would not take part in any ground operation in Syria.

Washington Spends More on Anti-ISIL Efforts, Delivers Less Than Russia

Pilots onboard of the US Marine fighter jet aircrafthave flown missions into both Iraq and Syria, part of the over 6,800 airstrikes carried out since August 2014.

One would assume that any country determined to fight ISIL wants to keep its counterterrorism campaign relatively cost-effective but not Washington, it seems.

The US is spending $8 million a day on a mission that has so far failed to bring the US-led coalition any closer to its goal of degrading and ultimately destroying the brutal Sunni group in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s limited military engagement in Syria costs far less (allegedly up to $4 million) and has proven to be far more successful.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne W. Patterson revealed the daily cost of America’s anti-ISIL campaign in Iraq and Syria during a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. This figure, however, will not remain at this level for long.

Washington’s expenditures will likely increase since the White House decided to expand its military presence in Syria. On Friday, the Obama administration announced that approximately 50 special operations troops would arrive in Syria to “train, advise and assist” rebel forces fighting ISIL.

Although the White House pledged to keep the mission limited, many fear that Washington’s military presence in Syria will escalate. After all, Barack Obama repeatedly said that no US boots will be sent to the war-torn country. The new strategy is a U-turn on that promise.US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland provided the estimated cost of the Russian aerial campaign in Syria during the same Congressional hearing. The State Department appears to believe that Moscow is spending $2 million to $4 million each day on its assistance mission.

In addition, Moscow is said to be carrying out eight times more airstrikes daily than the US.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria since September 2014. The operation has not been authorized by Damascus. For its part, Russia launched its aerial campaign aimed at assisting the Syrian Army in its fight against radical groups in the country following a formal request from Bashar al-Assad.

Islamic State
Islamic State

Russian, US air groups drill skills to prevent midair proximity over Syria — General Staff


MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Russian and United States air groups conducted joint exercise on Tuesday to drill skills of pilots and ground services in case of midair proximity over Syria, chief of the Main Department for Operations at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gen Andrey Kartapolov said.

“At eleven in the morning Moscow time today, Russian and US air forces conducted joint exercise to drill skills of interaction between crews and ground forces in case of midair proximity,” he said.

Russian Aerospace Forces started a military operation against the Islamic State terrorist group (which is banned in Russia) in the Syrian territory at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 30. The air group in Syria includes more than 50 warplanes, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers; Su-25 assault aircraft; Su-30SM fighter jets as well as Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The Russian Navy is also involved in the military operation. The warships of the Russian Caspian flotilla delivered a massive cruise missile strike from the Kalibr-class sea-based missile system on the night to October 7.

The Russian authorities have totally excluded a possibility of any ground campaign in Syria.