Alwaght- ISIS no longer controls any territory in Syria after all territories previously under the terrorist group’s control were liberated in the final push by the Syrian Army, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced.
“All terrorist units of ISIS on Syrian soil have been destroyed, and the territory is liberated,” Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov said.
“Therefore, as of today, there’s no territory controlled by ISIS in Syria,” he added. Gerasimov made the announcement during an annual briefing for foreign military attachés.
After being briefed on the successful military operation on both banks of the Euphrates River in Syria by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, President Vladimir Putin said that the political process and organization of the Syrian people’s congress in Sochi, agreed upon by Russia, Iran, and Turkey last month, must now become the focus. Among other goals, Putin named the drafting of a new constitution, and, eventually, parliamentary and presidential elections.
“Naturally, there might be some spots of resistance, but the military work has been largely completed in the area and at the time. Completed with a full victory, I repeat, with a victory and defeat of the terrorists,” Russian leader said.
The peace process, however, will be “a very big and lengthy job,” Putin cautioned. For this to happen though, the bloodshed in Syria must stop completely, he said. Securing the recent achievements and reinforcing the fragile de-escalation zones should be the first steps to that end, Russia’s president added.
Russia began providing support to Syria following an official request from Damascus in 2015 to prevent the terrorists from overrunning the country completely.
An array of foreign-backed militant and terrorist groups have been committing unprecedented atrocities in Syria since 2011.
Hundreds of Thousands have died and millions been displaced as a result of the insurgency with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimating last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.
The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the US and some European countries including France and Britain of collaborating with some of their regional allies especially Saudi Arabia in arming and funding different terrorist groups in the country.