Figures published by the official publication of the Russian Defense Ministry on its involvement in Syria shed light on its investment, targets and successes during its two year campaign in Syria.
According to the report in Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, the Russian air force has flown 30,660 sorties, launched 92,006 airstrikes and hit approximately 97,000 targets, including 8,330 command points, 53,700 groups of militants, 212 oil fields and 84 oil refineries and oil depots.
Commenting on Russia’s achievements in the battle against militant groups fighting the Syrian state, Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev pointed to the air force’s use of the X-101 subsonic air-launched cruise missile, among over 600 weapons used for the first time in combat. Loaded onto the Tu-160 and Tu-95MS long-range strategic bombers, the missile has never been tested in a real combat situation until the Syria campaign, traveling routes over Iran and Iraq, launching from the Mediterranean Sea.
Makushev also praised the use of the sea-launched high-precision and long-range Kalibr missile – targeting and eliminating Islamic State terrorists up to 1.5km away.
Commenting on the use of Russian artillery systems by the Syrian army, Makushev reported equipment proved to be very successful in Syria, achieving a 45% success rate in fire missions.
“The accuracy and promptness of the attacks was confirmed by the use of Tochka and Tochka-U tactical missile systems by the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Lieutenant-General said.
Russia, working with Iran and Turkey has announced aims to reach a political solution to the six year conflict – putting an end to foreign support for militant groups fighting the Syrian government. The Syrian army’s comeback, supported by the Russian military intervention beginning two years ago, has reportedly resulted in the taking back of 90% of the country’s militant-held territory.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday that US support for terrorists is the main obstacle for routing the self-styled Islamic State organization from Syria. The general pointed to several offensives against Syrian government troops launched from the 50km area around al-Tanf near the Jordanian border, where “a US military mission” is based.