says warplanes flying from its aircraft carrier, which was recently deployed off Syria
, have conducted their first strikes against foreign-backed terrorists active in the war-torn Arab country.
Russia’s TASS news
agency quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as making the announcement in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.
“Today at 10:30 and 11 (0730 and 0800 GMT), we started a major operation to conduct mass fire damage … in the Idlib and Homs provinces” targeting positions held by terrorist groups of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front,” Shoigu said, adding, “For the first time in our naval history,” Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, took part in combat operations.
The Russian defense minister further noted that jets will target ammunition depots, training camps and armaments factories, whose products are used against civilians in Syria.
The Admiral Kuznetsov was deployed from the Arctic to the eastern Mediterranean last month, joining around 10 other Russian vessels already off the Syrian coast.
Syrian aircraft target terrorists in Aleppo
Meanwhile, unnamed Syrian special sources told state television that Syrian jets had carried out air raids against terrorist strongholds and supply depots in the old city of Aleppo on Tuesday.
A Syrian army jet takes off from al-Dumayr military airport near Damascus on April 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The announcement came as Russian and Syrian warplanes had not conducted any anti-terror aerial attacks in Aleppo since October 18.
Moscow has introduced a series of unilateral truces in Aleppo to allow civilian and terrorists to quit the city’s militant-held eastern parts. It, however, argues that the cessation of hostilities had no tangible results as militants opened fire on people coming in or out of the city irrespective of the truces.
Residents in Aleppo’s eastern regions said on Sunday that they had received text messages from the Syrian army urging terrorists to leave the city within 24 hours.
“Those who want to save their lives must put down their weapons and their safety will be guaranteed. After the end of this period, the planned strategic offensive will begin,” the message read.
Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. Russia has been conducting air raids against Daesh and other terrorist groups in the Middle Eastern country at the Damascus government’s request for more than a year now.