The Russian Ministry of Defence released footage of the country's warplanes prior to take-off at the Hmeymim Air Base near Latakia, Friday. Moscow has deployed an undisclosed number of Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-34 and Su-25 jet aircrafts as well as attack helicopters to conduct precision bombing missions against militant targets in Syria. Russia announced that it conducted its first airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, successfully hitting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets. On Thursday, more attacks hit militant targets in Maarrat al-Nu'man and al-Latamna. Prior to the strikes Russia's Federation Council gave its consent for the use of the Russian armed forces abroad at a closed-doors meeting. The consent does not include the use of ground forces. The move followed Russian President Vladimir Putin's UN General Assembly speech in which he called for an alliance against IS forces. Mission objectives are selected by coordination between the Syrian and Russian governments as well as aerial reconnaissance.
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