Russian airstrikes hit ISIS vehicles on retreat in Aqerbat, Syria – MoD (VIDEO)

Aerial footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows combat aircraft hitting Islamic State vehicles as they tried to retreat from Aqerbat, Syria. A large group of the militants in the area has been encircled by the Syrian Army.

The airstrikes targeted military vehicles used by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

According to the Defense Ministry, Syrian government forces have surrounded the militants near the town of Aqerbat. The Islamists are trying to escape to Deir ez-Zor, the last stronghold controlled by the terrorist group.

“Following successful operations by Syrian troops, the last supply route used by the militants to deliver weapons, ammunition and material in the vicinity of Aqerbat is now within reach of the Syrian military’s firepower,” the ministry said.

The Russian Air Force provide support to Syrian troops on the ground.

“To prevent Islamic State militants from escaping to Deir ez-Zor, the Russian Air Force deploys drones for round-the-clock aerial surveillance, as well as detects and destroys armored vehicles, pickup trucks and other transport used by terrorists,” the ministry added, as quoted by TASS.

In recent weeks the Syrian Army has made important gains in the fight against militants. At the beginning of August, troops drove jihadists out of the strategic town of Al-Sukhnah in Homs province. The town lies about 50km away from the ancient city of Palmyra, and about the same distance from Deir ez-Zor province, which still remains under IS control.

Recently, Syrian forces took control of an area of about 60 sq km, with three major populated areas and two oil fields in the region of El-Kder, between the provinces of Homs and Raqqa.

READ MORE: Syrian forces take 3 more towns en route to Deir ez-Zor in first airborne operation – Russian MoD