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160 Russians fighting for Daesh killed in Syria: Official

A Russian deputy foreign minister says some 160 Russian nationals have been killed while fighting for the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Syria.

Oleg Syromolotov said on Thursday that a total of around 2,719 Russian citizens have been known to fight in the ranks of Daesh in Syria.

“Some 160 of them have been killed, 73 of them have returned and faced justice, and another 36 have been arrested,” he added.

The Russian diplomat said more than 25,000 foreign militants, including individuals from Arab countries, Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), are fighting on the side of the terrorist group in Syria. The CIS is an organization of former Soviet republics.

Also on Thursday, Russian General Staff Deputy Chief Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov said Russian warplanes hit 190 terrorist targets in Syria, leaving three Daesh commanders dead.

The crisis in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s population within or out of its borders.

Syrian forces have recently been making rapid advances against terrorists in several parts of the country.

The advances of the Syrian government forces against the elements of Daesh and other terrorist groups have been expedited by the air cover provided by Russia. Russia began an aerial campaign against the terrorists and upon the request of Damascus on September 30.

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