Russia’s largest bombing campaign against IS

Russia's largest bombing campaign against IS 0

Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber.

The Russian Security Agency announced on November 17 that the cause of the country’s passenger plane that crashed on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, late last month, was terrorism, killing 224 people.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that a series of missiles were launched from the country’s strategic bombers such as the Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire, Tu-95MS Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack.

In the first attack, more than 10 Tu-22M3 bombers continuously attacked IS-controlled bases in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces.

The 25 Moscow bombers were also escorted by 8 Su-34 Fullback fighters and 4 Su-30SM multi-role fighters.

Russia's largest bombing campaign against IS

Areas where Russian aircraft bombed during the campaign on November 17 (red dot).

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin also requested the Slava-class cruiser Moskva, operating in the Mediterranean, to coordinate combat with French forces in the region.

France is stepping up efforts to fight IS after this organization carried out a series of six bloody attacks in Paris on November 13, leaving at least 129 people dead and more than 300 injured.

Charles De Gaulle, France’s only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is said to be about to arrive in the area to begin bombarding IS bases.

Commentator David Ax from the Daily Beast described Moscow’s latest preemptive strike against IS as `one of the largest and most complex bombing campaigns in modern history`.

Mobilizing up to 25 heavy bombers in an attack mission is also seen as a strong move by the Kremlin when in Russia’s arsenal there are currently only about 70 Backfires, 58 Bears and 13

`When 25 of the world’s most powerful fighter jets attack at the same time, it’s more than a simple air strike. It’s a statement to the whole world,` Ax commented.

By comparison, American bombers often fly alone or in pairs when on missions, and rarely fly in large numbers like the way Russia did in yesterday’s campaign.

Ivan Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Studies, said that the participation of Russian bombers in missions to attack IS targets shows Moscow’s great potential in using different types of weapons and methods.

Russia's largest bombing campaign against IS

Simulation of the position of Russian warships and the city of Raqqa, Syria.

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