Despite US claims, 8 ISIS targets hit during 20 combat flights in Syria [VIDEO]
Russia has struck eight Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) targets in Syria, the country’s Defense Ministry said, adding that "civilian infrastructure" was avoided during the operations.
Today, Russian aerospace force jets delivered pinpoint strikes on eight ISIS terror group targets in Syria. In total, 20 flights were made,” spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said.
“As a result, arms and fuel depots and military equipment were hit. ISIS coordination centers in the mountains were totally destroyed,” he added.
Konashenkov said that all the flights took place after air surveillance and careful verification of the data provided by the Syrian military. He stressed that Russian jets did not target any civilian infrastructure and avoided these territories.
“Russian jets did not use weapons on civilian infrastructure or in its vicinity,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Russian military announced the start of air operations in Syria in order to help the goverment fight terrorist forces. Syrian state television named at least seven areas targeted by the air strikes.
They included areas around the cities of Homs and Hama, which are 44 kilometers apart, according to various media reports.
Moscow blasts ‘infowar’ following civilian deaths accusations
The statement by the Defense Ministry refuted earlier reports about civilian casualties that Russian air strikes allegedly led to.
Reuters reported that Russia targeted opposition rebel groups in Homs province instead of Islamic State forces. The agency cited Syrian opposition chief Khaled Khoja, who put the death toll of the bombardment at 36 civilians.
"Russia is intending not to fight ISIL [Islamic State], but to prolong the life of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad," Khoja said.
Similar claims were made by the BBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera and numerous other news outlets.
However, US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, said that Pentagon can’t confirm these allegations, though NATO declared it was concerned by the reports that targets other than ISIS could have been hit.