Europe

Putin says new Russian weapons turned tide in Syria

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, attend the meeting with officials in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Putin praised the performance of Russian weapons in Syria and said that they will be further improved based on the Syrian experience. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, attend the meeting with officials in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Putin praised the performance of Russian weapons in Syria and said that they will be further improved based on the Syrian experience. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, background center, leads the meeting with military officials in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Putin praised the performance of Russian weapons in Syria and said that they will be further improved based on the Syrian experience. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, background center, leads the meeting with military officials in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Putin praised the performance of Russian weapons in Syria and said that they will be further improved based on the Syrian experience. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin says Russia's new weapons have proven their worth in Syria.

Putin said Tuesday that Russian warplanes have flown more than 10,000 combat missions since the air campaign began on Sept. 30. He said they struck more than 30,000 targets, including 200 oil facilities, allowing the Syrian military to drive militants from 500 towns and villages.

Russia has for the first time tested in combat its new air- and sea-launched cruise missiles to hit targets in Syria.

The Russian military pulled out some of its warplanes from Syria in March but has continued to strike the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front.

A Russian- and U.S.-brokered cease-fire that began on Feb. 27 has helped reduce hostilities, although fighting has continued in some areas.