Russian, Syrian Forces Liberate Over 4,500 Sq. Miles From Terrorists


 A Syrian national flag waves as vehicles move slowly on a bridge during rush hour, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016

   Almost 900 settlements have joined Moscow-Damascus reconciliation efforts, the Russian defense minister said.

   Russian and Syrian forces have jointly liberated over 4,600 square miles of territory from terrorists while nearly 900 settlements have joined reconciliation efforts, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

   “As a result of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ and the Syrian government forces’ joint actions, more than 12,000 square kilometers [4,633 square miles] of Syrian territory have been liberated from terrorists. The residents of nearly 900 settlements joined the peace process,” Shoigu said at a Russia-Belarus defense ministerial board.

   Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations such as Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

    Since the war’s beginning it has claimed lives of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The international community has undertaken steps to end the Syrian conflict and to solve the humanitarian crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

    Moscow launched a counterterrorist air campaign in Syria on September 30, 2015, at Assad’s request.


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