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Published in Press Stream:
October 2, 2015

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Published in Stream:
October 2, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Jets Strike ISIS For First Time But Continue Wider Campaign Against Other Rebel Groups
5 years
Stream: October 2, 2015
Publication: Putin in Syria
Russia Is Using Old, Dumb Bombs, Making Syria Air War Even More Brutal
Russia's air offensive in Syria has entered its third day with the first reports of air strikes on areas actually controlled by ISIS.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has today released video footage from a Su-34 strike on targets south-west of ISIS-held Raqqa:

However the majority of settlements targeted remain outside ISIS control, with the Russian MOD announcing strikes near Darat Izza, Maarat al-Numan, Habit and Kafr Zita.

Over the last 24 hours, the Russians claim to have conducted 18 combat sorties against 12 targets.

MOD videos of Su-25 and then Su-24 strikes near Maarat al-Numan:

There are reports that the strikes on Habit killed three and injured 12:

At the time of writing, there are already reports of further air strikes:

AFP reports that Alexei Pushkov, head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, told France's Europe 1 radio station today that the air campaign could last for three to four months. 

"There is always a risk of getting bogged down but in Moscow they're talking about three to four months of operations," Alexei Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia's lower house of parliament, told France's Europe 1 radio.

Pushkov said more than 2,500 air strikes by the US-led coalition in Syria had failed to inflict significant damage on the jihadist Islamic State group, but Russia's campaign would be more intensive to achieve results.

"I think it's the intensity that is important. The US-led coalition has pretended to bomb Daesh (another name for Islamic State) for a year, without results.

"If you do it in a more efficient way, I think you'll see results," he said.

There was a similar message from Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia's National Defence journal, who spoke to Komsomolskaya Pravda last night.

The Interpreter translates:

The active phase of the operation, which has been painstakingly prepared, has begun. I think that it will take from 3 to 6 months, to be able to make a difference. To break the Islamic State's back. Our infantry will not be needed. The Syrians are absolutely battle-worthy: they've been fighting with ISIS for 4 years already, and they maintain control of 30% of the territory, in which almost all of the civilian population is located. Damascus was lacking our aircraft and intelligence information.

Komsomolskaya Pravda's star propagandists Dmitry Steshin and Aleksandr Kots - familiar faces from the war in Ukraine - are embedded with the Russian Air Force at the Bassel al-Assad airport near Latakia. Nor are they the only Russian media assets deployed for the media blitz:

Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Syrian Air Force has conducted its own air strikes on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma for the third day in a row:
-- Pierre Vaux