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Briefing of Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy

Speech of the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy

Today the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian force grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic Colonel General Sergei Surovikin is participating in briefing.

The Russian Federation continues to provide help to the Syrian population in fighting ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings.

Thus the main efforts are focused on ensuring the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

Thanks to purposeful activity of the Russian Center for reconciliation of opposing sides today 1,571 agreements on ceasefire have been signed the representatives of the inhabited areas.

Moreover, the number of armed formations, which had claimed to observe the ceasefire regime, is 219.

The situation has dramatically improved after signing of the Memorandum on the establishment of the de-escalation zones in the Syrian Arab Republic on May 4 in Astana.

The civil war in Syria has actually stopped.

In addition, the establishment of the Memorandum allowed to begin work on rebuilding war-torn inhabited areas.

Civilians began to return to liberated cities and towns. Households of ordinary citizens, power supply facilities, transport hubs and roads are restored, channels for irrigation of agricultural land are filling with water.

Schools are being repaired in order to the maximum number of children could continue the learning process.

Humanitarian access to the inhabited areas located in zones of de-escalation has been renewed. During last month 14 humanitarian convoys have been sent by the international organizations, which greatly improved the situation of the population.

After the opening of a humanitarian corridor to al-Wafidin, organized with the participation of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides, humanitarian assistance from UN and International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Eastern Ghouta have started. It is possible to reduce the prices of basic foodstuffs in the suburb of Damascus for 30-60 percent.

Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides conducted 169 humanitarian actions in which the population recived 17 tons of food, over ten and a half thousand Syrians received medical treatment.

Humanitarian demining in the areas liberated from the militants is provided. June 2 at the Russian branch of the International anti-mine center in ALEPPO was held another graduation of students.

92 Syrian sappers were sent to demine the city of Maskana and other inhabited areas in the Eastern parts of the provinces of Aleppo and Homs, recently liberated from the jihadists.

In accordance with the Memorandum the Joint working group on de-escalation has been formed and which is actively functioning. Three meetings have been held. The map that shows areas of de-escalation and the security zones has been developed. The draft guideline of the Joint working group has been prepared.

At the fifth International meeting on Syria in the framework of the Astana format it is expected to approve the main documents regulating the border and the procedure of control over observation of the cessation of hostilities in the areas of de-escalation.

In order to avoid losses among the civilian population, the operation of the withdrawal of the militants and their families from the suburbs of Damascus and Homs was carried out, held with the participation of servicemen of the Russian Center for reconciliation of opposing sides.

Within this operation 1853 militants and 5012 members of their families have been exported from the suburbs of the Syrian Capital Bursa and Kabun in the province of Idlib. Currently, engineers are working in these inhabited areas, checking buildings on the presence of explosive devices left militants. Restoration of vital infrastructure and social infrastructure is held. Citizens of these areas return to civilian life.

Two-month operation for withdrawing members of illegal armed groups from al-Vaer in the suburb of Homs, finished. According to the agreements reached in the inhabited area Jerablus in the province of Aleppo and the city of Idlib 19,653 people, including 6,964 militants have been exported.

After the withdrawal of the militants in al-Warp, about 8 thousand civilians have returned back.

In addition, in the Northern part of the province of Damascus in the cities of Zabadani, Madaya and Bukan 2,640 former militants have settled their status, taking advantage of the Amnesty Ordinance.

The success of the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the creation of four zones of de-escalation, reducing the number of violations of the cease-fire regime allowed the grouping of troops in the Syrian Arab Republic to focus on elimination of ISIS forces in the Eastern part of the country. With the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces major successes achieved in almost all areas.

I want to note that the government forces with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces are not fighting against the Syrian opposition. They are consistently reaching the main target – destruction of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and their affiliated terrorist groups.

At the same time, we do not see significant results of the fight against ISIS by coalition led by the United States. Declaring the purpose of the fight against international terrorism, the coalition strikes on Syrian troops, freely produces ISIS militants from areas of the encirclement, strengthening terrorist groups in the areas of Palmyra and Der ez-Zor. I want to ask why are they doing this and what real purpose they serve?

Now we see that the coalition's actions only prevent the elimination of groups of ISIS by government forces.

We expect that our coalition partners would take measures to prevent such incidents and will be engaged in the fight against terrorist groups ISIS in Syria.

About the results of operations for the liberation of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic conducted by government forces, will report Colonel General Surovikin.

Speech of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian force grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic Colonel General Sergei Surovikin

In the last month, government troops and militia units are developing success in the North-East of the province of Aleppo, Palmyra, the Eastern Qalamoun and in the South of Syria, they are moving along the Syrian-Jordanian border and the border with Iraq.

As a result, a large group of ISIS was defeated, while the enemy suffered significant losses in manpower and hardware.

During the month 109 inhabited areas and 3,922 square kilometers of territory have been liberated from the militants.

During this time, the Russian Aerospace Force aircraft performed 1,268 sorties, and destroyed 3,200 terrorist targets, including command posts, weapons depots and ammunition supply bases and training camps of militants.

In the North-East Aleppo province, the offensive along the Western Bank of the Euphrates river is rapidly developing. Units of the Syrian armed forces and militia units knocked the ISIL militants out of the main cities such as Maccana, Ratman, Shatha and approached the city of al-Tabka. A control over the Giro strategic important airport was taken.

The attack rate of government forces increased to 8 kilometers per day.

In total 83 settlements and more than 500 square kilometers of territory have been liberated from terrorists. 3,000 ISIS militants, including a few dozens of commanders, as well as more than 20 tanks, 7 infantry fighting vehicles, and 9 artillery guns of large caliber have been destroyed.

The command staff of the Russian force grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic closely monitore the situation in the area of Raqqa, where we have seen how the militants freely leave the city and its suburbs.

According to reports, in early June, ISIS terrorists in the agreement with the command of Kurdish troops (members of the "Union of democratic forces") left the inhabited areas al-Tad’ah, al-Hammam without resistance, located 19 km southwest of Raqqa and moved in the direction of PALMYRA.

Instead of eliminating terrorists responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian citizens, the coalition led by the United States, along with the controlled "Union of democratic forces" collude with the leaders of ISIS who without a fight live occupied inhabited and move to those provinces where the Syrian government forces are operating.

It seems that the American party uses the ISIS to prevent the government troops from advancement under the cover of fighting against terrorism.

At the same time, certain western media agencies misinform the world community  talking about harsh combat actions with the ISIS insurgents in the Raqqa province.

All the attempts of the ISIS terrorists to pass through the corridor located in the south of Raqqa are timely detected and suppressed by the reconnaissance means of the Russian Command in Syria.

On May 25, the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces eliminated a terrorists’ column heading towards Palmyra.

At night, on May 29-30, another attempt of ISIS insurgents’ column to leave Raqqa was stopped. As a result, 80 terrorists, 36 vehicles, 8 fuel tanker trucks and 17 pickups with heavy armament were eliminated.

Other minor ISIS groups managed to escape and hide in well-prepared transshipment bases and caves in the Hama and Homs provinces, discovered by reconnaissance means.

They were engaged on May 30 by the Admiral Essen frigate and the Krasnodar submarine from the eastern part of the Mediterranean by means of Kalibr cruise missiles.

According to the objective monitoring data, all the assigned targets were hit.

Near Palmyra, the government troops and militia detachments successfully conducted offensive actions against ISIS groups in the north-west, east and south-east directions pushing them out of commanding heights and expanding the security zones around the strategic highway Damascus – Palmyra and the Tifor airfield.

In the course of the combats, terrorists were dislodged from the gas field “Shaer” that caused serious damage to their economic potential depriving them from income through illegal hydrocarbon extraction.

The Syrian Army has taken hold of 3 cities and 66 important heights near Palmyra. The government troops have approached the Araq town, the capture of which will create conditions for further offensive towards Es-Soukhne and Deir ez-Zor.

The situation to the south-east of Palmyra has been considerably improved. The government troops have defeated the large ISIS groups to the south-west of al-Basiri.

3,200 sq. km of territory as well as 20 inhabited areas including Mkhasse, al-Basiri and al-Barda have been liberated from terrorists. The phosphate fields have been put under control.

The offensive towards Abu-Kemal is developing successfully. The advancement constitutes 184 km.

The government troops have mopped up the al-Buda town and reached the Syrian-Iraqi border, which is 40 km to the south.

In cooperation with the Russian Centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides, the detachments of the Free Syrian Army acting to the north-east of the Dumeira town are conducting ceasefire negotiations with the authorities.

The positions of the government troops in the southern part of the Es-Suweida province have been improved.

The Syrian Armed Forces have managed to capture a number of strategic heights and communications in this region, depriving terrorists from free transportation of reserves and cargoes in the south of the country.

However, in the course of the offensive, the government troops faced resistance of the aviation of the international US-led coalition. The American party has put forward a groundless ultimatum not to approach the positions of the so-called New Syrian army. They say that the government troops constitute a treat to the American bases and camps used for training of opposition combatants in the south of Syria. 

As a result, the coalition aviation and combatants’ checkpoints of the New Syrian army have blocked the way for the government troops, which are defeating the ISIS groupings and carry out the control using frontier outposts along the border with Iraq to the north-east of al-Tanfa to Abu-Kemal. This is the breach of the sovereign right of the Syrian Arab Republic to defend its borders.

The representatives of the US military command explain that government troops constitute danger for them. There is no explanation what kind of danger is meant and where its source is. It looks like not the ISIS terrorists, but the government troops are dangerous for the coalition.

Meanwhile the Russian command in Syria takes every effort for reconciliation of the opposing sides and providing security for the Syrian military groupings.

Despite this resistance, in the course of the offensive of the Syrian Army and the militia detachments against the ISIS positions, they have re-taken control over 105 km of the Syrian-Jordan border. Twenty-two towns have signed reconciliation agreements that means the successful termination of reconciliation process with the Druzes and the bedouin tribes. The actions of the government troops aimed at recovering control over the Syrian-Jordan and Syrian-Iraq borders are continued.

It is to be highlighted that the Russian servicemen jointly with the Syrian government troops are taking every effort for recovering peace on the Syrian land avoiding unnecessary violence and saving people’s lives. Along with that, any terrorists’ attempts to disturb the peacemaking process will be severely suppressed.

The counterterrorist operation on the territory of Syrian Arab Republic will be continued until the complete elimination of the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra groupings. 

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