"In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the planes of the Russian Aerospace Forces have started conducting air operation with pinpoint strikes on ground targets of ISIL terrorist groups in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic today," he told reporters.
Konashenkov also said that the Defense Minister, Army General Sergei Shoygu informed his counterparts in CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) that the Russian Aerospace Forces were committing strikes on military equipment, communication centers, vehicles as well as arms, ammunition, and fuel depots of the Islamic State terrorists in the course of the air operation in Syria.
Meanwhile, sources of Reuters said that targets in the Homs area appeared to have been struck, but not areas held by Islamic State.
Syrian rebels and opposition media outlets claimed that Russian aircraft carried out strikes in the central provinces of Homs and Hama that allegedly killed at least 24 people, The Guardian wrote.
It was announced Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin filed a motion to the Federation Council requesting the consent to use the Russian Armed Forces abroad. The Federation Council has given its permission. The head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Ivanov told reporters that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had appealed to Russia requesting military assistance. Ivanov stressed that the Air Force operation was meant only by the operation of the Russian Armed Forces abroad - the use of troops in ground operations was excluded.
A U.S. official told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that Russia had started carrying out air strikes in Syria in the vicinity of Homs adding that Moscow gave the United States a one-hour advanced notice of its operations.