Damascus (GPA) – The head of Russian troops in Syria has been quoted telling the media that over 85% of Syria is in government control.
Alexander Lapin – head of Russia’s operations in Syria – has been quoted by Russian media outlets claiming that the majority of Syria is now takfiri-free. Lapin addressed these outlets at a press conference earlier today at the Hmeymim Air Base in Latakia, where Russian flights take off from.
This announcement comes on the heels of the Syrian Arab Army’s historic victory over the forces of Daesh that had been hiding in Deir Ezzor. This major SAA operation was responsible for essentially wiping out the IS “army” and putting the idea of the quasi-state “caliphate” to bed.
With the three year siege of Deir Ezzor city now over, the rest of the Daesh forces have fled the metropolitan areas or are hiding deep within suburban neighborhoods. According to Lapin “the operation to free the city is ongoing.” and that “The Syrian military will soon finish off” the remaining Daesh fighters.
The remaining Daesh and other takfiri militants in the country are now currently relegated to a total area of around 27,000 square kilometers. Russia played a key role in making this possible with both cruise missile and other conventional airstrikes in support of Syrian operations.
Several of these cruise missile strikes were allegedly responsible for putting Daesh on the back foot by destroying several of their command posts. The communication infrastructure used by Daesh in the region was also apparently crippled by Russian military assets.
The operations also saw “450 terrorists, five tanks, and 42 pickups, with heavy machine guns, were liquidated during the operation,” according to Lapin.
Russian air power is clearly continuing to play a major role in Syria and Deir Ezzor is just the latest example of a great victory by the SAA aided by Russian forces. Now hopefully Deir Ezzor can start the process of reconstruction, like Aleppo, which was the next stop in the reporters’ tour after the press conference.
Russia has also aided Syria in making another crucial step by helping to arrange several rounds of peace negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan. The next round of these talks is slated to begin Thursday, and this round will now include new factions of the opposition – no doubt looking to jump on the diplomacy train before it’s too late.