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Over 50 Al-Nusra Militants Including Commanders Killed in Russian Airstrikes in

Russian fighter jets pounded a base of Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the Western countryside of Aleppo, claiming the lives of 53 militants, including their senior commanders.

Russian warplanes bombed heavily a base of Fatah al-Sham in the village of Orum al-Kobra just to the West of Aleppo city, killing 50 militants and two of their notorious commanders. In the meantime, Field Commander of Jeish al-Mujahidin, nom de guerre Abu Islam, was killed in an airstrike on his vehicle in Orum al-Kobra.

A senior military expert said on Thursday that the massive operations by the Russian air force and navy are preparing the grounds for the Syrian army to launch its large-scale attack in Eastern Aleppo.

"Moscow is trying to force the Obama administration to distinguish between Al-Nusra and the so-called moderate militant groups," Salim Harba told FNA on Thursday.

He reiterated the beginning of large-scale naval and aerial military operations by the Russian army against the terrorists in the provinces of Idlib and Homs can be a prelude to massive military operations of the Syrian army and its allies from Hama or Lattakia towards Idlib and terrorists' bastions in al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs and from there to Eastern Aleppo.

"The attack on Idlib countryside can also be aimed at blocking aid to the terrorists (that are under siege) in Aleppo by the Syrian army," Harba added.

On Tuesday, Russian Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser began combat operations in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Shoigu said Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich launched missiles on terrorist targets in Syria, Sputnik reported.

"Today, we started a major operation to launch massive strikes on ISIL and al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front) targets in the Idlib and Homs provinces in Syria," Shoigu said at a meeting with the ministry's leadership and defense enterprises.

"For the first time in history of Russian Navy, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser has begun military operations," Shoigu said.

Russian naval task force in Syria is reliably protected by Bastion Coastal Defense Missile Systems and Pantsir systems, the minister said.

Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate targeted terrorists in Syria with Kalibr cruise missile strikes, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

"Today, we started a large-scale operation on launching massive strikes on ISIL and al-Nusra Front targets in the Idlib and Homs provinces in Syria," Shoigu said, Sputnik reported.

According to him, Admiral Grigorovich frigate, Bastion coastal missile systems and "for the first time in history of the Russian Naval Forces" Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser take part in the military operation.

"Admiral Grigorovich frigate takes part in the operation. Today, it launched Kalibr cruise missiles on terrorist targets that had been confirmed by intelligence data and determined in advance," the minister said at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with top officials of the Russian Armed Forces; FNA reported.

Source: Al Alam

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