Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, chief of operations of the Russian Army General Staff affirmed that Russian airstrikes in Syria aim at eliminating the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In a statement published by Russia Today website on Friday, Kartapolov said that Russia had conducted more than 600 sorties and bombed more than 380 ISIS targets since the start of the campaign in Syria on September 30.
He added that the air forces of Syria, Iraq and Iran are carrying out their own tasks in combating ISIS according to their plans and in coordination with Russia.
Russia can strike positions of Islamic State militants in Syria from its ships based in the Mediterranean Sea anytime should the command decide to do so, he noted.
“Our naval group in the Mediterranean is mostly used for supplying goals. We have a group of warships there too and this group provides antiaircraft protection for our base,” Kartapolov said.
Kartapolov said that in the long run Russia may end up having one massive military base in Syria, which would be shared by the Navy, the Air Forces and the Ground Forces.
He pointed out that Moscow had invited Washington to take part in the center’s work, but ignored it.
Kartapolov said that ISIS terrorists number around 40 to 50 thousand, noting that ISIS is looting and fighting for turf. “When they need foreign money, they declare that they are fighting against the Syrian state. But once they get the money they use it as they please,” he added.
He stated that the US-led Coalition is targeting bridges, power stations, water pumps and other public utilities which made life harder for Syrians, adding that those strikes have decreased the military capabilities of the Syrian Army and pushed them to retreat while ISIS was buying supplies in neighboring countries and receiving deliveries from certain organizations and nations.