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PRESS RELEASE: Briefing by Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff (24.07.2017)

Briefing by Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff (24.07.2017)

The Russian Federation continues taking measures on reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic.

In course of the fifth round of negotiations in Astana in the format of International meetings held in early July, borders of de-escalation zones located to the north from the Homs city and near Eastern Ghouta have been approved. Consultations on another de-escalation zone in the Idlib province are taking place. Work in the Astana format will be continued.

Moreover, states-guarantors have signed the Agreement on joint de-escalation work group. Session of the group is planned to be held in early August.

The Russian party is conducting work in other aspects.

On July 7, Russia, Jordan, and the United States of America signed the Memorandum in order to implement ceasefire regime and establish peace in south-west of Syria. The Memorandum has been approved by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of the Unites States of America Donald Trump.

This document confirms commitment of the parties to sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the political process aimed at definitive solution to the conflict.

The Memorandum regulates the borders of south-western de-escalation zone in the provinces of Daraa, al-Quneitra, and al-Suwayda as well as order and composition of forces of ceasefire regime control.

On July 21 and 22, Military Police units of the Russian Federation deployed two checkpoints and ten watch posts along the approved areas of lines of contact of the sides near the south-western de-escalation zone.

It is to be stressed that the nearest watch post is 13 kilometers far from the zone of separation zone between Israel and Syria near the Golan Heights. The zone has been approved in accordance with the international agreements.

These measures will allow to sustain the ceasefire regime, provide assistance to unfettered access of humanitarian cargos as well as return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

The Russian party informed the United States, Jordan, and Israel about deployment of the Russian forces along the perimeter of the de-escalation zone in the south of Syria.

As the Russian party was interested in early establishment of lasting peace in Syria and rapid ceasefire, the Russian Defence Ministry held negotiations with moderate opposition. The parties have reached agreements on the order to functioning of the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone.

Today, according to this agreement, the Russian Military Police units have deployed two checkpoints and four watch posts.

Therefore, measures taken by the Russian Federation allowed to stop warfare in two strategic areas of Syria.

As the political agreements are implemented, the number of ceasefire violations is decreased in the territory of Syria. According to the data of the Russian Defence Ministry, within three weeks of July the number of violations has decreased in 1.5 times in comparison with the same period of previous month.

This allowed the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides to activate its work on returning the peaceful life to Syria.

Starting from June, agreements on ceasefire have been signed with representatives of 508 towns and villages. Therefore, total number of reconciled inhabited areas has reached 2,043. Number of detachments of armed opposition, which had joined the ceasefire regime, has reached 228.

Officers of the Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides have held more than 190 humanitarian actions providing 159 tons of food products to civilians.

Within last two months, Russian transport aircraft have delivered 475 tons of food products provided by the United Nations in Deir ez-Zor, which had been encircled by the ISIS insurgents. 

Establishment of the ceasefire regime and de-escalation zones in the Syrian territory allowed the government troops to release a part of forces and, with support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, to achieve significant success in fighting against terrorist groupings.

Syrian government troops used to control a little more than 12,000 square kilometers of the territory of the country before the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation started the operation in the Syrian Arab Republic. Currently, Syrian army is controlling almost four times as much territory – 74,200 square kilometers.

About 20,000 square kilometers or 40 percent of total territory was liberated up from terrorists over the last two months.

Aircraft of the Aerospace Forces of Russia performed 2,010 combat flights for this purpose. 5,850 air attacks were performed against command posts, warehouses with weapons and ammunition, bases and training camps of insurgents’ forces.

The most important ISIS facilities were hit by long-range precision weapons. Six objects were eliminated by Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles. Four objects were eliminated by Tu-95MS jets using H-101 missiles.

Offensive on the ISIS terrorists is continuing near the river Euphrates in the north-east of the Aleppo province. Units of the Armed Forces of Syria have liberated from terrorists 55 settlements, including Bir Inbaj, Rassafe and Dalha, in this area since June 1.

About 2,400 square kilometers of the territory have been liberated from insurgents. More than 2,000 militants, about 20 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, more than 40 pick-ups equipped with heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns have been eliminated.

Government troops conducted offensives in north-west, east and south-east directions near Palmira.

Terrorists have been forces out from strategically important Arak settlement. Shaer, Magara and Arak oil and gas fields have been taken under total control of the Syrian army as well as T-3 large gas-distributing complex.

Currently, offensive in direction of al-Sukhneh, which is a key settlement on the way to Deir ez-Zor, is being successfully developed.

Operation on blocking and eliminating a large grouping of the ISIS near Aqerbat is taking place to the north-west from Palmyra.

Offensive held in the south of Syria is successful as well. Total territory controlled by the government troops in this direction has reached 7,000 meters.

ISIS militants have been pushed away from al-Buddah, T-2 gas gas-distributing complex has been taken under control, and offensive in direction of the Abu Kemal town is continued. The distance between government troops and the town is 26 kilometers.  

The Syrian troops have taken 150 kilometers of Syria-Iraq border under control. Four checkpoints and 22 watch posts have been deployed. This allowed to decrease opportunities of the ISIS to redeploy militants and weapons from Iraq to Syria.

Moreover, the government troops have taken Syria-Jordan border under their control in the provinces of al-Suwayda and Damascus (211 kilometers). 12 watch posts have been deployed. 6,500 square kilometers have been liberated from terrorists to the east from al-Zelaf.

It is to be stressed that Russian military servicemen jointly with Syrian government troops do their best for early establishment of peace in Syria. Any attempts of terrorists and their supporters to disrupt reconciliation will be suppressed

Operation on liberation of the Syrian Arab Republic territory from the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings will be continued.