Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
11th December, 2015
During the fighting in Syria, Russian aircraft conducted more than four thousand sorties, destroying more than eight thousand objects belonging to the infrastructure of terrorists. This was stated on Friday, 11th December, by defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The head of defense said that the terrorists control about 70 percent of Syrian territory. "They are expanding their area of influence. The number of terrorists is about 60 thousand people", — said Shoigu during the final Collegium of the Ministry with the participation of President Vladimir Putin.
"There is a threat of exportation of their actions to Central Asia and the Caucasus", — said the Minister.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes on terrorist groups in Syria since 30th September, expanding their base in Khmeimim (currently has 44 aircraft and 16 helicopters). Syria's President Bashar al-Assad issued Moscow with a request for military assistance to counter the militants, including the banned in the Russian Federation "Islamic state" and "Jabhat al-Nusra", .
On November 17, Russia launched a new phase of air operations in Syria. Long range Cruise missiles were first used alongside combat aircraft. On December 8th, Russia first used cruise missiles with an underwater launch from aboard the submarine "Rostov-on-don" in the Eastern Mediterranean.