A high-ranking Russian commander says his country’s military campaign against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria has been accomplished, and there are now no remaining settlements controlled by the extremists in the war-ravaged Arab country.
“The final stage of the defeat of the terrorists was accompanied by the unprecedented deployment of Russia’s air force,” state-owned Russia 24 television news network quoted Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi, the head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department, as saying on Thursday.
He added that Russia’s mission in Syria would now focus on preserving ceasefires and restoring peaceful life.
Kremlin: Only Putin can decide halt of airstrikes in Syria
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that only President Vladimir Putin can make a decision on the cessation of Russian aerial bombardment campaign against Daesh in Syria.
He made the comment in Moscow on Thursday when asked whether the rout of terrorists in Syria would end Russia’s anti-terror operation in that country.
“Solely the Supreme Commander-in-Chief (Vladimir Putin) can decide on this matter. When he makes such a decision, we’ll inform you,” Peskov told reporters.
Since September 2015, Russia has been conducting aerial attacks against terrorist positions in Syria at a request from the Damascus government.
Backed by Russian air power, Syrian ground forces have managed to make numerous gains against terrorists on various fronts.
On November 26, Russian long-range bombers delivered a stinging blow to the remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group on the western bank of the Euphrates River, destroying the extremists’ command posts and killing scores of them in an airstrike.
The development came a day after Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that six Tupolev-22M3 aircraft had left an air base in Russia, and bombarded Daesh’s fortified areas, manpower and armored vehicles near Abbas town, which lies northwest of the recently-liberated al-Bukamal town and near the border with Iraq.
Six Tupolev-22M3 bombers left an air base in Russia on November 17, crossed over the Iranian and Iraqi airspaces and carried out a massive airstrike against the Daesh positions near the town of Bukamal in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
Six Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers had pounded Daesh outposts near Bukamal two days earlier.