TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (Press Shia) – Six Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have launched airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria’s city of Deir ez-Zor, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian Defense Ministry said that the Tu-22M3 long-range bombers took off from an airfield in Russia and flew over the territory of Iraq and Iran.

“On January 23, 2017, six long-range Tu-22M3 bombers that took off from a Russian airfield and flew over Iraq and Iran carried out airstrikes on Daesh’s command posts, arms and ammunition depots near Deir Ez-Zor populated area.” The ministry added that all targets have been destroyed.

“Su-30SM and Su-35S provided air cover to the Russian bombers from the Hmeymim airbase.” After successfully completing their combat mission in Syria, the Russian jets returned to Russia. On Saturday, Russian strategic bombers also targeted Daesh positions in Deir ez-Zor.

Last week, Daesh terrorists surrounded the Deir ez-Zor military airfield in Syria’s northeast. Deir ez-Zor airbase remains the last line of defense of the Syrian army on the way to the city. Despite numerous terrorist attacks involving suicide bombers and military equipment, the Syrian Air Force managed not only to successfully defend the airfield, but also counterattacked terrorists fighting in nearby territories.

Commenting on the development of the situation in the area, the Russian General Staff said on Wednesday that if terrorists capture Deir ez-Zor, civilians will be subjected to genocide and the population may be completely exterminated.

The city of Deir ez-Zor, which is still held by Syrian government forces, has been under ISIL siege since July 2014. The residents of Deir ez-Zor and the servicemen receive food only via planes delivering humanitarian aid.

SPUTNIK/Press Shia