Syrian opposition provides Russian Air Force with coordinates to target terrorists – MoD

Russia's Su-34 fighters equipped with air-to-air missiles. © Russian Defense Ministry
The Russian military in Syria is in "constant contact" with the Syrian opposition forces that are fighting Islamic State, Russia's Ministry of Defense says. The opposition is providing the Russian Air Force with coordinates to strike at terrorists.

"Contact has been established and is constantly maintained. Opposition groups are providing the command of the Russian Air Force coordinates to strike terrorist targets," Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy told journalists on Tuesday.

The Syrian "moderate" opposition also contributes to the advance of Syrian government forces in their fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the defense ministry official said.

There are over 150 such opposition groups, Rudskoy said, adding that "the most patriotic of them" are already fighting IS terrorists alongside the Syrian army. "Today they count up to over 5,000 people," he told reporters.

Rudskoy also stressed that the Russian military is helping rebel fighters in battles against IS.

Over the past 24 hours the Russian Air Force has conducted 17 airstrikes at IS targets to support the offensive towards the terrorists' de-facto capital of Raqqa by a group that's part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and by the Syrian Democratic Forces rebel group.

The aim of the Russian military is to further work on "uniting the efforts of government forces and other groups interested in liberating Syria of international terrorists," the official said.

Russia has intensified its airstrikes on IS and other terrorists’ positions in the region over the course of the past several weeks, the Lieutenant-General said, adding that one of the primary focuses of the Air Force is disrupting the source of terrorists' incomes in Syria.

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Six illegal oil facilities have been destroyed over the past three days, as well as seven terrorist convoys loaded with oil.

Since the start of the Russian anti-terror operation in Syria on September 30, the Russian Air Force has conducted 4,201 sorties, according to the Defense Ministry.

Russia has intensified its airstrikes on IS and other terrorists' positions in the region in the course of the past several weeks, the Lieutenant-General said, adding that one of the primary focuses of the Air Force is disrupting the source of terrorists' incomes in Syria.

Six illegal oil facilities have been destroyed over the past three days, as well as seven terrorists' convoys loaded with oil.

Since the start of the Russian anti-terror operation in Syria on September 30, Russian aviation have conducted 4,201 sorties, according to the Defense Ministry.