BEIRUT, LEBANON (0:05 P.M.) – The Russian Air Force has identified several convoys of Islamic State militants fleeing their Syrian capital Raqqa southwards and destroyed them with devastating airstrikes, thwarting the jihadist group’s aim to transfer troops to the area of Palmyra and Deir Ezzor. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense more than 80 ISIS fighters were killed.
In addition 36 cars, 17 mortar and machine-gun mounted pickup trucks, as well as 8 fuel trucks were destroyed. The successfull strikes targeted several different columns trying to escape the endangered ISIS stronghold in the cover of the night.
The first of them was spotted and destroyed on May 25, others followed on from May 29 to May 30 and tried to evade the Russian Air Force by splitting their motorcades along several routes. Nevertheless the Russian Air Forces, eager to prevent ISIS from shuffling their forces from Raqqa to the region of Palmyra, where the jiahdists are desperately trying to fend off a massive offensive of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), could prematurely terminate the jihadist’s journey’s.
The air forces are determined to continue their mission as the Ministry of Defense stated: “The command of the Russian grouping of forces in the Syrian Arab Republic will continue to take all neccessary measures to prevent the breakthrough of the IS units from Raqqa to the provinces of Homs and Hama.”
With the kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by Western special forces further encircling the ISIS capital north of the Euphrates, the temptation of jihadists to move southwards is set to increase and will require intensified efforts of the Russian Air Force to prevent southern areas of Syrian from being flooded with ever more jihadist insurgents of the Islamic State.