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Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy held a briefing for media representatives

Despite agreements, which had been signed on September 15 in Astana, Jabhat al-Nusra insurgents jointly with illegal armed groups unwilling to observe ceasefire regime terms launched a large-scale offensive on positions of the government troops located to the north and northeast from Hama in the Idlib de-escalation zone at 8 a.m. on September 19.

Offensive was supported by tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. Before the offensive, insurgents carried out firepower preparation.

For 24 hours, insurgents managed to dent the government troops’ defence line for up to 12 kilometers in depth and up to 20 kilometers in front.

According to the received data, this offensive was initiated by the US special agencies in order to stop successful advance of the Syrian Arab Army to the east from Deir ez-Zor.

Seizing of a unit of the Russian Military Police was one of the main aims of insurgents. The Russian MP unit was operating in an observation post deployed as de-escalation observation forces.

As a result, the MP platoon (29 persons) was blocked by insurgents. During several hours, the Russian unit jointly with a detachment of the Muali tribe was repelling attacks of superior enemy’s forces. Earlier, the tribe had signed the ceasefire agreement, and its representatives remained faithful to it in this complicated situation.

Commander of the Russian force grouping in Syria Colonel General Sergei Surovikin formed an unblocking group. Units of Special Operations Forces and Military Police staffed with natives from North Caucasus as well as Syrian special forces.

The unblocking unit was headed by Deputy Chief of the Russian Reconciliation Centre, Hero of Russia, Major General Shulyak Viktor.

Aviation was striking on terrorists. Actions of the unblocking unit was supported by a pair of Su-25 aircraft by striking on manpower and objects of insurgents from extremely low altitudes.

The encirclement has been breached. Units of the Russian Armed Forces have reached locations of SAA without losses.

Three servicemen of the Special Operations Forces have been wounded.

All participants of this unique operation were put forward for state decorations.

The terrorists’ offensive has been stopped by measures taken by the Russian command staff and Syrian General Staff. Terrorists have suffered significant losses.

For the last 24 hours, aviation and artillery units have eliminated 187 objects, 850 terrorists, 11 tanks, 4 IFVs, 46 pickups, 5 mortars, 20 trucks, and 38 ammunition storages.

Units of the 5th Airborne Assault Corpse launched a counter-attack and almost took lost positions.

Operation on eliminating terrorists will be continued. 

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