Russian air strikes Saturday targeting the Islamic State group in Syria have sown “panic”, forcing some 600 “militants” to abandon their positions and head to Europe, Moscow claimed.

Summing up the results of Russia’s first three days of strikes, a senior official with the General Staff said Russian jets had made more than 60 sorties over 50 IS targets and added that Russia would ramp up its aerial campaign.

“Our intelligence shows that militants are leaving areas under their control. Panic and desertion have started in their ranks,” Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, a senior Russian General Staff official, said in a statement.

“Some 600 mercenaries have abandoned their positions and are trying to find their way into Europe,” Kartapolov said.

“Over the past three days we have managed to undermine material and technical resources of the terrorists and significantly reduce their combat potential,” he added. “We will not only continue the strikes by our air force but also will increase their intensity.”

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