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02.08.2018 (14:31)

Chief of Russian General Staff's Main Operations Directorate Colonel General briefs media on situation in Syria

The Russia Armed Forces jointly with the Syrian authorities take all measures required to stabilise situation in the Syrian Arab Republic Over the past month they have conducted a unique operation to eradicate illegal armed formations in al-Suwayda, Daraa and al-Quneitra in southwest Syria.

In the guise of "moderate opposition", the Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS terrorists controlled over 55% of the South de-escalation zone.

Terrorists gangs were constantly fighting against "moderate opposition" to expand occupied area.

Civilians trapped in this situation suffered lack of food, medication and drinking water.

As a rule, terrorists misappropriated humanitarian relief delivered through the international organisations, so that civilians recieved none of it.

Any attempts of the locals to defend their rights and property were punishable by terrorists causing public executions.

Besdies, terrorists tried to occupy a territory controlled by government troops. Russian military policemen were endangered when guarding posts along the demarcation line.

The Russian Federation has been informing the USA and Jordan, guarantor-states of the South de-escalation zone, about escalation and dire humanitarian situation in southwest Syria. However, our western partners undertakes no effort to stablise it.

In these circumstances, the civilians appealed to the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides to protect them from the acts of violence by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra militants.  Leaders of "moderate opposition" in northeast South de-escalation zone voluntary agreed to surrender and return back to life in peace under guarantees of the Russian Federation.

Radical militants and their families were given an opportunity to leave for Idlib province.

Meanwhile, the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in attempt to undermine peaceful process, tried to occupy towns that asked Syrian government for protection, and attacked the SAA positions.

Government troops jointly with "moderate opposition" units that had joined them in fight against terrorists, are operating to stabilize situation in the South de-escalation zone.

To prevent any possible clashes, the Russian command was notifying Israeli and Jordanian partners on the situation.

During the operation, the SAA troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces have totally eradicated the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and regained controll over the al-Suwayda, Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces.

Yesterday, units commanded by General Hassan Sukhel jointly with the 4th Tank Division, eliminated the last stronghold of ISIS in southwest al-Quneitra province and in vicinity of Qusayr, Al Kuwayyah and al-Garga.

As a result, 3,332 sq.km. were liberated in southwest Syria. In total 146 settlements came under the control of the Syrian government with 50 of them – by peaceful means through negotiations.

In rapid offensive, the Syrian troops and militia units besieged a stronghold of terrorists near Qusayr. As result, over 160 insurgents of ISIS surrendered.

It is to be stressed that the offensive operation in the southwest Syria targeted ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists only.

In areas controlled by the "moderate opposition", the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides organises measures for reconciliation of illegal armed groups and recovery of state authority.

Terrorists were able to use amnesty voluntary, lay down their arms and return back to life in peace, or leave for the Idlib province. An overwhelming majority of the insurgents preferred to stay in their localities.

A large part of armed gangs of the "moderate opposition" joined the government troops to fight against the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

In total 9,652 people (4,297 militants of them) were taken to Idlib province.

Altogether, illegal armed formations voluntary surrendered over 650 pieces of military hardware including 39 tanks, 28 IFVs and APCs, 10 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles, 35 anti-aircraft guns, 17 MLRSs, 60 machine guns, and 23 AT launchers.

Government troops regained full control over the Syria-Jordan border. There are favorable conditions for the UN peacekeeping forces deployed in area between Syria and Israel at the Golan Heights in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution No.350.

It is to be reminded that international observers ceased working in the area in 2012 because of security concerns.

Today, the UN peacekeeping forces escorted by the Russian military police made their first in last six years patrol duty in area separating Syria from Israel.

The Russian military police shall set up eight observation posts along the B-line in front of the UN posts to prevent "provocations". As the situation stabilizes, the Syrian servicemen take on the posts.

Mine clearance operation is underway in territories liberated from armed gangs. Social infrastructure #, power and water supply are being recovered.

The Russian MP assist local authorities to ensure security. They organise patrols and set up observation posts to maintain stability and prevent any possible provocations.

As Daraa, al-Quneitra and al-Suwayda province have been liberated, refugees and IDPs are able to return back to their homes.

The Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement is working in Damascus to intensify repatriation. 

The Joint Coordination Centre established by the Russian Defence Ministry is working on voluntary repatriation of Syrian refugees from abroad. The Centre includes representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries concerned.

Russian Defence Ministry regulary informs you on its work furing briefings.

We continue to closely monitor the situation in all regions of Syria, and we cannot ignore rising tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Terrorists intesify shelling attacks from the Idlib de-escalation zone targeting government troops positions and civilian areas in Aleppo, Hama and mountain region of Latakia. Over the past ten days, there have been 84 cases of such attacks.

Terrorists continue their attacks from the Idlib de-escalation zone using unmanned aerial vehicles against Russian military facilities. The latest such attack against the Hmeymim Air Base was registered on July 29.

All the attacks have been repelled by the air defence and electronic warfare means.

In addition, in the areas surrounding the area of al-Tanf, controlled by the American military, there is a growing group of ISIS militants who attack towns al-Suwayda and Damascus province, as well as trying to organize a forays in Palmyra and Deir-ez-Zor.

The Russian air force and Syrian government forces cooperate to promptly identify and eliminate them.

Situation in the Rukban camp is of particular concern There are 60,000 people in disaterous envirnoment as well as terrorists hiding there. The matter requires an immediate action.

Russia reckons that the America side should provide humanitarian access to the Rukban refugee camp, and ensure evacuation of refugees to their former homes, and to eliminate its military base in al-Tanf.

 General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces continues closely monitoring the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. 

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