Moments ago Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the Russian military launched a large-scale operation against terrorists stationed in Homs and Idlib provinces of Syria.
"Today at 10:30 and 11:00 we launched a large-scale operation against the positions of Islamic State and Al-Nusra [terrorist groups] in the provinces of Idlib and Homs," Shoigu said at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the top leadership of the Russian Armed Forces.
The Russian "Admiral Grigorovich" frigate located next to Syria's coast targeted terrorists in Syria with Kalibr cruise missile strikes, Shoigu said. The "Admiral Grigorovich [frigate] takes part in the operation. Today, it launched Kalibr cruise missiles on [terrorist] targets that had been confirmed by intelligence data and determined in advance," the minister said at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with top officials of the Russian Armed Forces.
The 'Admiral Kuznetsov' aircraft carrier, the flagship of the Russian Navy, is also taking part. This is the first time the 'Admiral Kuznetsov' has taken part in a military operation according to RT. Sukhoi Su-33 fighter jets have been launched from the deck of the carrier, the defense minister said.
The strikes target factories and arms depots operated by the jihadists in Syria, he said. "The main targets of the strikes are warehouses with ammunition, [terrorist] gatherings and terrorist training centers, as well as plants for the production of various kinds of weapons of mass destruction of the population," Shoigu detailed.
He stressed that terrorists had actual factories, not merely workshops, for weapons production. "They are factories, not workshops, more specifically the plants for the production of all sorts of rather serious means of mass destruction."
"Clearly, this is a well-established industrial production, these are the targets for today's strikes. And they will continue," the minister stated. The minister noted that the Russian military had thoroughly surveilled the targets before striking them, choosing the most important.
"They [terrorists] used them twice this week. In one instance, 27 people were hospitalized and three were killed, in the other case 30 were hospitalized. I mean the fighters of the Syrian army," he added. On November 12, the commander of the Admiral Kuznetsov said that sea-based jets of the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov which arrived in the Syrian coast heading a group of the Russian Northern Fleet's squadron started training flights.
"You are aware that we have sent a large group of our radiation, chemical and biological protection troops to determine the toxic substances which are used by terrorists. Within the past week they used them twice – in one case, 27 people were hospitalized and three died, in the other case 30 people were hospitalized – I mean the Syrian Army soldiers," Shoigu said.