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13.10.2017 (17:00)

Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy held a briefing for media representatives

For the last month, situation in the Syrian Arab Republic has changed significantly.

The Syrian Arab Army has liberated 5,841 square kilometers as well as 142 towns and settlements.

Meanwhile, in late September, the ISIS leadership took efforts to launch a large-scale offensive in Syria involving about 3,000 militants. Militants’ units were redeployed from Iraq in order to form this grouping.

Over 1,000 terrorists with tanks, MLRSs, and artillery systems crossed the border near Abu Kemal from Iraqi provinces of Anbar and Nineveh, where the US-led coalition operation was taking place.

Moreover, positions of the government troops were attacked by another 450 ISIS militants from the al-Tanf zone controlled by the US.

Decisive actions of the government troops covered by Russian Aerospace Forces have disrupted terrorists’ offensive and eliminated main forces of the illegal armed groups.

However, several militants’ groupings managed to block the al- Sukhnah – Deir ez-Zor highway as well as reach al-Qaryatayn.

Currently, the city has been liberated; the highway has been unblocked; all illegal groups have been eliminated.

Offensive of the SAA near Deir ez-Zor develops successfully.

Assault units commanded by General Suheil al-Hassan supported by Russian aircraft have completely liberated right bank of the Euphrates north-west and west of the city. They have taken territory (4,600 square kilometers) under control.

Over the last 10 days, General Suheil al-Hassan’ units have moved 37 kilometers southe-east of the city, liberated 813 square kilometers from terrorists, and entered Mayadin. This is the largest city controlled by the ISIS.

Terrorists reckoned on turning the city into a fortified stronghold. They projected the most effective units in Mayadin. The city has been blocked. Liberation of its central quarters is being finished.

The bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Euphrates is being extended. Offensive to the north and south develops successfully.

The SAA engineer units and Russian military specialists installed three pontoon ferries and a bridge over the Euphrates in order to provide unimpeded combat service support of the force grouping and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

All these actions became possible due to massive elimination of the enemy. Air strikes have been intensified by 1.5 times.

For the last week, Russian aircraft carried out 383 sorties and hit 993 targets near Deir ez-Zor.

For the last month, three massive missile strikes have been made on the most important targets by Kh-101 air-to-surface cruise missiles from Tu-95MS bombers and Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles from submarines. 

Long-range high-precision strikes engaged 37 targets, including armament and ammunition storages, manpower, hardware concentrations, communication and control posts of terrorists. 

Special attention was paid to elimination of terrorists’ leadership. In total, 31 leaders, have been liquidated. On October 3, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader, was badly wounded. Chief of security Ahmad al-Ghizai, field commanders Husem Mahzum and Ahmad Khalez Ali al-Zawawi, and others were eliminated as well.

In central Syria, the SAA has obliterated the ISIS units encircled in Uqayribat. Over the last month, the ISIS units have been driven out from 57 settlements. As a result, 236 square km of territory have been retaken.

The de-escalations zones are functioning in south Syria, in Eastern Ghouta and in north Homs province as well as deconfliction zone in Tel Rifaat area. Ceasefire regime compliance is ensured by Russia’s Military Police units.

Meanwhile, the Jabhat al-Nusra units from Idlib de-escalation zone tried to attack the SAA positions north and north-east of Hama city.

The attack was stopped, terrorists were forced to retreat suffering considerable losses in personnel and hardware. In total, 2,400 militants, 27 tanks, 21 MLRSs, 14 IFVs, 160 pick-ups and 25 mortars have been eliminated.

Environment in the de-escalation zone has been stabilized. Today, the ceasefire regime control forces have been deployed in the zone.

At the same time, the Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliations are detected to redeploy their units from northern part of Idlib province to south and southern-east. There is still a possibility of another attack by terrorist against Hama province.

The Russian Aerospace Forces and SAA are taking measures to deny breakthrough to armed formations in the de-escalation zone.

The Russian Centre for Reconciliation is stabilizing environment in the liberated zones.

Over the last month, the Centre has carried out 36 humanitarian actions. Citizens of Aleppo and Damascus have received more than 74 tons of food and medical supplies, and the bare necessities. In total, the Centre has conducted 1,645 humanitarian actions delivering about 2,233 tons of food supplies.

Besides, the 13 UN convoys have been delivered under the auspices of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation.

Medics of the Russian Defence Ministry Hospital have provided medical aid to more than 2,000 Syrians over the last month.  In total, about 60,000 civilians have received medical treatment and assistance from the Russian specialists.

A considerable number of improvised explosive device (IED) left by terrorists and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the liberated zones is considered to be one of the most critical problems.

The Russian International Mine Action Centre has sent a combined detachment to Deir ez-Zor area to assist the Syrian engineer units. The detachment is comprised of 171 servicemen and 40 pieces of special hardware as well as 10 sniffer dogs.

The Russian engineers have cleared up 838 buildings and 87 kilometers of roads over 299 hectares. In total, 24,000 IEDs and mines have been defused.

The ISIS is currently controlling 14,800 square kilometers which is less than 8% of the Syrian territory.

The Russian Aerospace Forces continue counterterrorism operation against the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. 

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