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08 December 2017, 12:39 | Opal Carroll
DESTRUCTION Vladimir Putin has declared victory over ISIS in Syria
Russia's Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday that Syria has been completely liberated from Islamic State (IS), a terrorist organization banned in Russian Federation.
"Thus, there are no territories controlled by ISIL in Syria today", TASS cited the Chief of Russia's General Staff as saying.
President Vladimir Putin repeated the declaration to journalists later on Wednesday, Interfax reported.
The officer revealed that the final stage of the operation to free Syria from the jihadists involved the concentrated use of the Russian Aerospace Forces, including long-range aviation, with Russian aircraft carrying out a hundred or more sorties daily and upwards of 250 individual air strikes. Russia's stated goal has been to combat terrorism while pursuing a political settlement in the country through representative intra-Syrian negotiations and the preservation of Syria's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Its biggest presence is on the eastern side of the Euphrates, where it still holds around eight percent of Deir Ezzor Province", he said.
Backed by the US-led coalition, Iraqi forces have been flushing out IS fighters in the desert north from the Euphrates Valley and up to the Syrian border.
On Wednesday, Syrian forces supported by Russian Federation air power had swept through the remaining Islamic State territory in the Deir Ezzor region, seizing Abu Kamal and other cities on the west bank of the Euphrates near the Iraq border, Mr Rudskoi said.
The United States and France called on Russia Wednesday to deliver the delegation of President Bashar Assad to Syria peace talks in Geneva after discussions on ending the 6-year-old war resumed with no sign of the government attending. Those strikes have helped Assad regain control over much of war-ravaged Syria.
"With the liquidation of armed bands of the ISIL terrorist group in Syria, the Russian contingent will concentrate its main efforts on providing aid to the Syrian people in rebuilding peace" and ensuring that ceasefire commitments are met, he said.
The Syrian conflict began in 2011 and over 340,000 people have been killed.
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