SYRIA: SUCCESSES AND DIFFICULTIES

The gangs of the Islamic State terrorist group have been completely crushed with the support of our country’s armed forces in three years of hostilities in Syria. This was stated by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking at the fifth meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and dialogue partners (“SMOA plus”).
“In total, over 87,500 militants were destroyed during the operation, 1,411 settlements and more than 95% of the territory of Syria were liberated,” he said.
According to the minister, the militants were repulsed from key settlements in the Syrian Arab Republic and communications were unblocked. VKS of Russia destroyed about 122 thousand objects of terrorists. In total, Russian military aircraft made more than 40 thousand combat missions, 21 thousand of which were at night.
Shoigu also said that Russian sappers cleared 6.5 thousand hectares of the territory of Syria and 19 thousand buildings and structures.
The defense minister said that with the support of Russian aviation, the terrorists of the organization banned in Russia were completely defeated. He noted that at the moment, the territory in which more than 90% of the population lives is under the control of the Syrian troops. “In Syria,” the minister noted, “we have gained a rich combat experience, which we are ready to share.”
Unfortunately, it was not without losses from our side. According to media reports, at the end of September, Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the Federation Council’s defense and security committee, former commander-in-chief of the VKS, gave an estimate of the number of Russian soldiers who died in Syria. According to him, in three years the losses of the Russian Armed Forces amounted to 112 people, in addition, Russia lost eight aircraft, seven helicopters and several armored personnel carriers.
It is also worth recalling here that the other day at a meeting of the Valdai Club, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had launched an operation in Syria because of the threat to the country from terrorism. The Russian president noted that in a global sense, the Russian military did not defeat terrorism, but were able to inflict “enormous damage” on it.
According to the Minister, by now all the conditions have been created for the revival of Syria as a single state. “But to achieve this goal, efforts are needed not only from Russia, but also from other members of the world community,” he noted.
According to the UN, the minister said, almost 7 million people left Syria because of the war. “Now the situation in the country allows them to return to their homes. Russia is making a significant contribution to this process, ”he said. In particular, the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters for the Return of Refugees is functioning in Moscow, and the Damascus Reception, Distribution and Accommodation Center in Damascus, the Defense Minister recalled.

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