MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin was told Russia had stepped up air strikes against religious militants in Syria with long-range bombers and cruise missiles after the Kremlin announced a manhunt for those responsible for blowing up a Russian airliner over Egypt.
Putin, visiting the defence ministrys command centre in Moscow on Tuesday evening, was told by military chiefs that the air force had carried out around 2,300 sorties in Syria in the last 48 days.
Putin, in footage broadcast earlier on Tuesday, had vowed to hunt down those responsible for blowing up a Russian airliner over Egypt and intensify air strikes against militants in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane last month, killing 224 people.
Speaking four days after gunmen and bombers killed at least 129 people in Paris, Putin ordered the Russian navy to establish contact with a French aircraft carrier in the region and to treat them as allies.
He said Russia could develop a joint plan on Syria with the French navy.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.