Syrians gather to thank Russian military assistance

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Hundreds of Syrians gathered on streets Sunday in the Syrian city of Tartous to thank Russia for extending military support in their fight against terrorism.

Local residents were seen holding pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as national flags of the two countries.

"We are here now as Syrian people to say thanks to Russia because Russia is a friendly country and help Syrian people against terrorists,"said a Tartous resident.

Another resident said:"Tartous is gathering here to say thank you to Russia, to President Putin, to the Russian people and to the Russian military, for helping us through difficult times."

Russia has been launching air strikes targeting ISIS-controlled terrorist bases in Syria for over a month now and will continue to do so, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

"We are here to fight against terrorists. This plane is taking off now, and another one will take off very soon. We will launch as many operations as needed,"said Konashenkov.

Latakia is a port city near Tartous where a terrorist attack killed dozens of civilians and injured over 60 on Nov 10.

The attack took place during the peak traffic hour and was aimed at civilians, said Ibrahim Salim, governor of Latakia.

"The two sites attacked by the terrorists are not military facilities. There are no Syrian armies here. This attack was targeted at civilians and aimed at disrupting order,"said the governor.

Russia launched several air strikes on Wednesday and Thursday and destroyed 289 bases, including one in Latakia.

"We found an armory two days ago. Rocket projectiles were stored and constantly being sent there. It was with these weapons that the terrorists attacked residential areas in Latakia. The armory provided the two rocket projectiles that hit Latakia and killed more than 20 people. Russian air force has completely destroyed the armory with Sukhoi Su-24,"said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman.

Salim also thanked Russia's military presence here.

"We are very grateful for Russia's military assistance and also its political, economic, social and human support before this. Russia's military presence has sped up our fight against terrorists,"said Salim.

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