Russia launched a long range bomber strike against ISIS positions in Syria this week in a seemingly successful attempt to destroy an Islamic State base of operations. Russia says U.S. backed coalition forces were advised in advance of the raid. The Kremlin is keen to highlight Russia’s military capabilities in the Syrian theater and a long-range bombing capability is obviously a capability that gets NATO’s attention.
“In the morning of July 12, six long-range Tu-22M3 bombers, which took off from the home airfield on the territory of the Russian Federation, delivered a combined strike with high-explosive ammunition at facilities of the ISIL terrorist group (former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization) east of Palmyra and As-Suhnah,” the statement said. The ministry said a large field camp of militants, three ammunition and armaments depots, three tanks, four infantry combat vehicles, eight vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns, as well as “a great amount of enemy manpower” were destroyed. “All aircraft safely returned and landed at their airfields,” the statement said.