Russian Warplanes Target Bridge in Islamic State-Stronghold of Raqqa

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The Russian defense ministry released new footage on November 5 described as showing a strike on an Islamic State target in Raqqa. The Russian defense ministry confirmed in a statement on November 5 that they had hit targets in Aleppo, Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Idlib, Lattakia, Raqqa, Hama and Homs provinces during 81 combat sorties carried out in the last two days.

Local activists have reported a number of strikes by Russian aircraft in the same regions in recent days, though the Syrian Air Force is also active in these areas.

Russian jets bombed 24 targets in Syria after receiving coordinates from the Syrian opposition, Russia’s defense ministry said on Twitter on Tuesday, November 3. It is the first indication that Moscow is cooperating with rebel groups to fight the Islamic State in Syria. Senior Russian military official Andrei Kartapolov said in a statement that warplanes hit targets near Palmyra, Deir Ezzor, Ithriya and eastern Aleppo.

The citizen-journalist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, which posts online photos, videos and information from inside the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, said on Tuesday that the Russian strikes hit infrastructure and civilian neighborhoods, but not Islamic State headquarters. According to the anti-IS activist group, the strikes hit a hospital, school and bridges.

This video shows the strike on the bridge near Raqqa on November 3. It tallies exactly with footage released by Aamaq News, which acts as a semi official news agency for Islamic State, showing the aftermath of strikes on the main bridge crossing the Euphrates into Raqqa. Credit: Russian Defense Ministry

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