DAMASCUS: (Web Desk) Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says almost 88,000 foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists have been killed in Syria ever since Moscow launched its counter-terrorism airstrikes against militant redoubts in the Arab country more than three years ago.
“Over the course of the operation, a total of more than 87,500 militants have been eliminated, and 1,411 settlements in addition to more than 95 percent of Syria’s territory have been liberated,” Shoigu said at the fifth council of defense ministers of ASEAN member states and their dialogue partners in Singapore on Saturday.
“Key settlements have been liberated and main communications have been brought into operation. Syrian armed forces currently control territory, where 90 percent of the population resides,” he added.
Russian jets have been carrying out air raids against targets belonging to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and those of other terror outfits inside Syria at the Damascus government’s formal request since September 2015.
The airstrikes have helped Syrian forces advance against anti-Damascus militants, who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.
On August 22, Russia’s Defense Ministry stated that Moscow had dispatched 63,012 troops to Syria over the course of its involvement in the conflict-plagued Arab country.
The ministry said 25,738 ranking officers and 434 generals as well as 4,349 artillery and rocket specialists were among the troops sent to Syria.
It added that the Russian personnel have “received combat experience” in the war-torn country.
The ministry further noted that its forces had tested 231 types of modern weaponry, including aircraft, surface-to-air systems and cruise missiles, in Syria.