Russia’s bombardment of ISIS is so effective that they took out 600 rebels in a single cruise missile strike, defense officials revealed today, as Moscow announced it was DOUBLING the number of jets used to target ISIS in Syria.
The Russian defense minister said the air force was increasing the number of aircraft involved to 69.
Moscow’s warplanes have carried out a staggering 394 sorties in just the last three days, hitting 731 rebel targets across Syria.
It comes amid confusion over whether Russia will send in boots on the ground, with the Kremlin today saying they will not launch a full-scale ground war for the time being.
But they refused to rule out such action in future amid reports that Putin is preparing to send in 150,000 troops to end the reign of evil ISIS once and for all.
Defense minister Sergei Shoigu added that more than 600 rebels had been eliminated as a result of a single cruise missile strike on a target in Syrian Deir ez-Zour province.
A fleet of Russian warships in the Caspian sea separately launched 18 cruise missiles on “terrorist positions” in Syria earlier today.
The strikes ordered by Vladimir Putin hit seven targets in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib.
The Russian strongman has ordered his military not to let up in their raids as ISIS continues to be degraded by a sustained aerial bombardment.
Russian navy ships launch cruise missiles at targets in Syria from the Caspian Sea
Moscow is also planning a three-day naval exercise in the Mediterranean and has reportedly warned Lebanon that its airspace will be affected by the manoeuvre.
But Mr Putin has admitted that his country’s efforts have so far failed to protect Russia from terrorist attacks.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke earlier by phone to discuss the need for joint efforts to combat ISIS In Syria.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said there are clear signs that Russia has turned its fire in Syria on ISIS – also known as ISIL – in the past few days.
Speaking during a visit to Cyprus earlier this week, Mr Hammond said: “We have seen over the last 48 hours that the Russians are clearly focusing more effort on counter-ISIL, which is good.
“I don’t doubt that the Russians believe every bit as much as we do in the need to destroy ISIL. And in fact Russia is every bit as threatened by ISIL and the ideology behind it as we are.”
But tensions remain between Mr Putin and the Turkish authorities.
On Friday, Turkey summoned Russia’s ambassador in protest over the “intensive” bombing of Turkmen villages in northern Syria by Russian warplanes.
Turkey called for an immediate end to the Russian military operation, which is near the Turkish border, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The military has destroyed a number of oil facilities and tankers
“It was stressed that the Russian side’s actions were not a fight against terror, but they bombed civilian Turkmen villages and this could lead to serious consequences,” the foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, Moscow has said ISIS was so overwhelmed with casualties in the attacks it is having to crudely hide dead bodies at night.
The Russian army’s Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov said: “The militants have admitted the death of ‘Abu Nurlbagasi’, ‘Muhammad ibn Khayrat’ and ‘Al-Okab’ as a result of Russian airstrikes in the area of Aleppo.
“In order to conceal the true number of casualties, the evacuation of the dead and wounded militants is carried out in the dark.
“According to our data, due to heavy losses and the inability to bury all of the eliminated terrorists in accordance with Islamic tradition, the commanders decided to dump the bodies of ordinary militants in sewage pits.”
‘For Paris’: Russian air force inscribe bombs to strike ISIS targets.