According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, a series of cruise missile strikes in and around the city of Deir Ezzor killed “over 600” ISIS militants over the course of four days, part of his statement on the ongoing escalation of airstrikes against ISIS across Syria.
ISIS has controlled Deir Ezzor for nearly a year now, holding the entire province except for a single military airport, which they’ve regularly failed to take. Shoigu mentioned the strikes focused on a “single target” over the course of the four days, but wasn’t more specific on what that was.
Shoigu said 101 cruise missiles, both airborne and sea-based, were used over the four-day span, and also claimed to have destroyed a number of ISIS training facilities and weapons depots elsewhere in Syria, saying it was bolstering the Syrian military’s offensive in those areas.
There were separate reports of a pair of Russian cruise missiles flying low over the Aleppo Province in the direction of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa. Experts are suggesting the escalation of attacks is Russia’s promised retaliation for the downing of a Russian airliner last month in the Sinai Peninsula, which killed 224 civilians.