Moscow: Six long-range TU-22M3 bombers on Sunday launched airstrikes on targets of the Islamic State in the province of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

"After taking off from an airfield on the Russian territory, the aircraft hit terrorists strongholds and areas with high concentration of militants in the Euphrates valley," the ministry said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported. The destruction of all targets was recorded by unmanned aerial vehicles, the ministry said.

Su-30SM and Su-35S fighter jets based at the Khmeimim airbase in western Syria provided air cover for the bombers, it added.

The Russian military have launched dozens of strikes on terrorists in Syria since the beginning of November. According to the Russian Federation Council's Defence and Security Committee, the fight against the IS in Syria will possibly be over by the end of the year and Russia may be able to withdraw its air force.

IANS