Syria: Sukhoi Su-24M and Su-25 fighters take off to carry out airstrikes on IS

Sukhoi Su-24M and Su-25 jet fighters took off from the Hmeymim Air Base near Latakia on Thursday, as Russia's Ministry of Defence claimed that Russia is achieving major success in its air campaign. Over 70 targets were hit in a total of 53 mission carried out over the last 24 hours, according to Russia's Ministry of Defence figures. Earlier on Thursday one of Russia's top officers claimed that militant units are suffering a severe deficit on manpower and ammunition as a result of desertions motivated by the airstrikes. Since launching its first airstrikes in Syria on September 30 after an official request for aid made by the Syrian government, Russia has flown dozens of combat missions and conducted more than 100 airstrikes, according to the Russian Defence Ministry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Moscow on Tuesday to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the ongoing operations and current situation in the Middle Eastern nation.