Over 600 Syrian Militants Killed in Missile Strike, Says Russia

It was not clear when the missile strike took place; the defense minister also stated that Russia had doubled the number of aircraft operating in Syria.

AFP

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that more than 600 militants had been eliminated as a result of a cruise missile strike a target in Syrian Deir ez-Zour province, RIA news agency quoted him as saying on Friday.

It was not clear when this missile strike was done. Shoigu added that Russia had doubled the number of planes in its Syria operation to 69.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Friday that more than 400 civilians were among the 1,331 people killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria since September. The monitoring group said that the civilian death toll included 97 children.

In a separate statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry said that its head Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a phone talk and discussed the need for joint efforts to combat Islamic State In Syria and the need for talks between Damascus and opposition.