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Russia Says It Destroyed Islamic State HQ in Syria

Russia began bombing raids in Syria on Sept. 30. Sergey Krivchikov / Russian AviaPhoto Team / Wikicommons

Russian strategic bombers on Thursday fired a salvo of cruise missiles at targets in Syria, destroying Islamic State command centers and several oil and weapons facilities, the Defense Ministry said.

The attack was the third major strike in Syria in recent days, and follows Russia's announcement on Tuesday that a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt last month killing 224 people was downed by a terrorist bomb.

Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said in a? post? on the Defense Ministry's Facebook page that Tu-95M3 strategic bombers launched 12 cruise missiles against targets near Aleppo and Idlib in Syria on Thursday morning, and a group of Tu-22M3 bombers conducted intensive raids hours later near Raqqa and Deir-Ez-Zur.

Kartapolov said the strikes had destroyed Islamic State headquarters, at least three oil and ammunition storage facilities, bomb factories, command centers, three refineries and a mortar plant.

Russia began bombing raids in Syria on Sept. 30. The strikes were ostensibly against terrorist groups, but according to Western observers targeted enemies of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a Russian ally.

The Islamic State is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization.

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