Since Moscow started its air operation in Syria on September 30 last year, the Russian Air Force has eliminated over a third of Islamic State fighters in the country, the deputy head of Russia’s top security body revealed.
“We estimate that at the beginning of our operation Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] possessed about 80,000 fighters, of whom 28,000 (35 percent) have already been eliminated. This is [the result of] our actions together with the Syrian Army,” Evgeny Lukyanov said at the VII international security summit being held in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s Chechen Republic.
“Well, the [US-led anti-terrorist] coalition eliminated an additional 5,000 in two years,” Lukyanov added.
“There were people predicting that it [Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria] would result in another Afghanistan or something like that. That would never be. There are only limited military plans,” Lukyanov said, stressing that Syrians“must solve their issues for themselves.”
The principle task of the Russian operation in Syria has been to force the sides to start a political dialogue, the Russian Security Council’s top official stressed.
“Otherwise this [war] would have no end in sight.” Read full