Weekend Russian Airstrikes Pummel ISIS

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Weekend Russian Airstrikes Pummel ISIS
by Stephen Lendman
Russian airstrikes continue hammering ISIS and other terrorist targets in Syria. Over the weekend, 141 sorties struck 472 sites, including hundreds more tanker trucks transporting stolen oil for black market sales in Iraq and Turkey – 1,000 destroyed since Russia began bombing them, along with ISIS-controlled oil refineries and a “major oil depot.”
Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said terrorists sustained heaviest losses in Deiz ez-Zor, Raqqa and Aleppo provinces. “Most gangs have quit positions in these areas in defiance of threats from their warlords and been getting rid themselves of Islamic State clothes, symbols and emblems and trying to mix with the local population,” he explained.
ISIS and other terrorist forces’ command and control capability was largely destroyed, he added. They’re disorganized and retreating, trying to consolidate in areas they control. Aerial monitoring shows heavy losses inflicted, more daily.
“Statements by individual, supposedly military professionals, such as the spokesman of the US Central Command who said that the majority of Russian air strikes were directed against the moderate Syrian opposition do not change, in spite of everything,” Konashenkov stressed. 
“As always, they are groundless, without concrete facts citing some anonymous sources” – part of daily US propaganda war on Russia, another reminder why Washington is no ally of Moscow.
Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said “(o)ver the past 48 days, the Russian air grouping has performed 2,289 sorties and delivered 4,111 missile and bomb strikes against major infrastructure facilities and the concentrations of the militants’ armor and personnel.”
“During the combat operations, 562 control points, 64 terrorist training camps, 64 arms and ammunition production facilities and other objectives have been destroyed.”
In recent days, airstrikes targeted ISIS oil production, refining, storage and transport capability. Russia’s Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu said terrorists are now losing $1.5 million daily because of damage and destruction to its revenue producing source.
Interviewed on China’s Phoenix TV channel, Assad said “(a)fter the participation of the Russian Air Force in fighting terrorism, the situation has improved in a very good way, and now I can say that the army is advancing on nearly every front.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said “Russia’s large-scale activities are an important integral part of the international counter-terror actions…China supports Russia’s efforts to combat terrorism.”
Russian air power encouraged hundreds of Latakia province residents to join popular self-defense force units, according to area governor Khodr al-Salem, adding: “Self-defense units provide the strongest local support for the Syrian army.”
“Russia’s direct involvement in the struggle against terror in Syria and the growing pressures on the extremists from the Russian air group in recent days has not only bolstered the Syrian army’s morale but added to the Syrian people’s certainty the extremists’ defeat is imminent,” he explained.
Self-defense elements maintain security around government and public offices, as well as in residential communities. Assad encouraged Syrians to join them in recaptured areas.
The battle of Syria continues, hopefully toward a successful conclusion after nearly five years of painful struggle.
Obama bears full responsibility for the carnage and human misery inflicted, another major war crime on his blood-drenched rap sheet.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.