ISIS, Nusra Militants Not in Syria’s Damascus: Russia

ISIS, Nusra Militants Not in Syria’s Damascus: Russia
Fri Sep 30, 2016 15:36:03

The main "positive" result of Russia’s operation in Syria is that ISIS and Al-Nusra Front terrorists have been kept out of Damascus, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian airstrikes on terrorists in Syria over the past year have ensured that "neither ISIS, nor Al-Qaeda nor the Nusra Front are now sitting in Damascus," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

He noted, however, that assessing the success of the ongoing operation is the task of military experts.

Responding to a question on whether the Russian leadership anticipated that the operation in Syria would last more than a year, Peskov said that no time frame was outlined when the initial decision to send aircraft to Syria was made.

“At the same time, the main goal was declared to help Syrians and the Syrian Army in the fight against terrorists, who at the start of [our] operation occupied most of the country,” he pointed out.

Syria has been engulfed in civil war since 2011, with the government fighting a number of rebel groups in addition to terrorists such as ISIS (Daesh) and Jabhat Al-Nusra, who recently “rebranded” into Fatah al-Sham.

Russia began its anti-terror campaign in the Middle Eastern country following a request from Syria’s President Bashar Assad in September 2015. The operation was officially concluded this March. However, a part of the Russian force remains in Syria to assist the country’s authorities with military and humanitarian tasks, RT reported.

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