December 22 – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that since the start of Russia’s aerial campaign in Syria, Russian warplanes have launched 71,000 airstrikes and eliminated 35,000 terrorists.
The Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed over 700 terrorist training camps in Syria during its campaign, Shoigu said. “Since the start of the operation, Russian jets have conducted 17,800 sorties, l…aunching 71,000 strikes on terrorists’ infrastructure, eliminating 725 training camps, 405 plants producing ammunition, 1,500 pieces of terrorists’ military equipment, 35,000 militants, including 204 field commanders,” Shoigu said.
Some 9,000 militants have laid down arms in Syria, the Russian defense minister said.
Russia’s operation in Syria has helped stop the spread of terrorism in the region, keep the country united and break the “chain of color revolutions” in the Middle East and Africa, Shoigu said. “In general, the operation [in Syria] allowed to solve a number of geopolitical problems: international terrorist organizations have been dealt a serious blow in Syria, their spread in the region has been stopped, the financial support of militant groups… has been disrupted, the collapse of the Syrian state has been prevented, while the chain of ‘color revolutions’ in the Middle East and Africa has been broken,” he said. According to the defense minister, “the process of political settlement and reconciliation of warring parties has been launched in Syria. A total of 1074 settlements populated by some 3 million people have joined the ceasefire regime, while 108,000 refugees returned home; 9,000 militants laid down arms.” Russia has been conducting an anti-terrorist aerial campaign in Syria since September 2015 at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s request.