TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russian airstrikes in Syria have killed 35,000 Takfiri terrorists across the Arab country, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Speaking at a gathering of top military officials on Thursday, Shoigu said Moscow's intervention had prevented the collapse of the Syrian state, Reuters reported.

He added that Russian aircraft had flown 18,800 sorties in Syria since the start of the Kremlin's operation there last year, destroying 725 training camps, 405 sites where weapons were being made and killing 35,000 fighters.

"The chain of 'color revolutions' spreading across the Middle East and Africa has been broken," Shoigu said.

Shoigu also said Russia's nuclear missile forces would next year be swelled by three extra units armed with modern weaponry and that the air force would receive five modernized strategic bombers.

Russia, a Syria ally, has been providing military assistance to Damascus in its battle against foreign-backed terrorism. Iran, also an ally of Damascus, has been lending advisory support to the Syrian counterterrorism push.

The conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 470,000 people.