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Russia hits IS in Syria heartland in defiance of West

A video grab made on September 30, 2015, shows an image taken from footage made available on the Russian Defence Ministry's official website, purporting to show an airstrike in SyriaRussia bombed the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold Saturday and vowed to press its aerial campaign despite criticism from Washington and its allies that the military action is strengthening the jihadists. A long-time staunch backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia began sorties over its ally Wednesday in what it said would be a prolonged bombing campaign against IS and other extremist groups. Senior Moscow military officials said warplanes pounded Syria Saturday after a strike that blew up a command post in Raqa, IS’s de facto capital in Syria, taking to 60 the number of sorties carried out so far.

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