Russia’s VKS conducted over 30,000 combat sorties in Syria since September 30, 2015
(Source: TASS Defense; published Sept 22, 2017)
MOSCOW --- Russia’s Aerospace Forces (VKS) have conducted over 30,000 combat sorties and launched over 92,000 airstrikes in Syria from September 30, 2015, according to the official infographic issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

"Since the beginning of Russia’s VKS [counter-terror] operation in Syria [September 30, 2015], Russian aviation has conducted over 30,000 combat sorties [including 5,165 in 2015 and 13,848 in 2016], launched over 92,000 airstrikes [including 13,470 in 2015 and 50,545 in 2016] and destroyed over 96,000 objects of international terroristic grouping, including 8,332 command and control posts, 17,194 strong points, 970 training and field camps, 53,707 terrorists, 132 fuel pumping stations and columns of fuel tankers, 212 oil deposits and oil-and-gas complexes, 6,769 fuel and munition depots, 184 oil refineries and stations and 9,328 other pieces of the terrorists’ infrastructure [as for September 20]," the infographic said.

According to the MoD, the Syrian territory has been liberated by 87.4% with 2,235 populated localities joined the ceasefire regime. The Ministry also says that 586 Syrian mine clearance specialists have been trained, while 102 more Syrian sappers are receiving training. In Aleppo and Palmira, 2,956 and 2,339 hectares of territory have been cleared with 36,319 and 24,065 explosive objects defused, respectively.

Forty-five aerial vehicles were conducting reconnaissance along Russia’s borders, and the Air Defense’s aircraft alert force made fourteen interception scrambles. "Any violation of the Russian Federation’s aerial space was prevented," the MoD added.

The foreign specialists conducted two inspections on the territory of the Russian Federation, namely Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Sweden and Estonia under the Vienna Document (2011) over the territory, on which the Zapad-2017 joint strategic exercise took place, and the United States of America (USA) and Norway under the Open Skies Treaty.

Russia’s specialists conducted three inspections on the territories of foreign states, namely the USA, France and Germany under the Open Skies Treaty.

According to the MoD, 1,456 driving exercises were conducted at 109 ranges with night drills accounting for 46%. Moreover, 9,094 parachute jumps and over 275 flight shifts at 51 airfields were performed within the prescribed period. Nineteen submarines, 67 ships and 48 auxiliary vessels were in the sea.

Fifteen surface and underwater combatants, four maritime patrol aircraft and four naval helicopters of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and China’s Navy participated in the Naval Interaction-2017 exercise, the infographic says.

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