33 IS militants killed in air strikes, observatory says

18 November 2015 (Last Updated November 18th, 2015 05:57)

At least 33 Islamic State militants have been killed in the air strikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa, as France bombarded the region.

At least 33 Islamic State militants have been killed in the air strikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa, as France bombarded the region.

According to the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 33 militants have been killed in the past three days, while several members and their families relocated from Raqqa to another IS stronghold Mosul in Iraq, Reuters reported.

France has intensified its air strikes on Syria after the Paris terror attacks, which killed nearly 130 people.

"If in fact he (Putin) shifts his focus and the focus of his military, to what is the principle threat, which is ISIL, then that is what we want to see."

Russia has also stepped-up bombing in the region after a probe revealed that the last month's Sinai plane crash happened due to a bomb blast.

According to media reports, Russia has deployed Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear) and Tupolev Tu-160 (Blackjack) strategic bombers, and Tupolev Tu-22 (Blinder) medium bomber.

Nearly 13 targets were destroyed by Russian aircraft, which launched 34 airborne missiles.

Russian General Staff chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov was quoted by Sputnik International as saying: "These include command posts that were used to coordinate ISIL activities in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo and munition and supply depots in the northwestern part of Syria."

The Russian and French militaries are coordinating their attacks, as France called for a united front against the militant group. Presidents of Russia and France, Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande, are scheduled to meet next week.

US President Barack Obama said that he is ready to work with Russia provided the latter focuses on destroying the IS.

"The problem has been in their initial military incursion into Syria, they have been more focused on propping up President Assad.

"If in fact he (Putin) shifts his focus and the focus of his military, to what is the principle threat, which is ISIL, then that is what we want to see." Obama was quoted by the New York Times as saying.