The Russian Air Force carried out air strikes on four so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets overnight between Wednesday and Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defence wrote in a statement that accompanied video footage of the operation. The footage shot by drones shows Russian airstrikes on ISIS infrastructure near Idlib and al-Latamna. Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft performed eight sorties, eliminating a staff headquarters and ammunition depot near Idlib as well as a "three-level HQ centre" near Hama, the statement reads. A plant that prepares car bombs located in the north of Homs was also "completely destroyed" as part of the operation. To avoid damage to civilian infrastructure Russian air strikes are assigned "only outside inhabited areas and only on the basis of confirmed reconnaissance data received from multiple sources," the Defence Ministry writes. Russia announced that it had conducted its first airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, successfully hitting IS targets. 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 follows Russian President Vladimir Putin's UN General Assembly speech in which he called for an alliance against IS.
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