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Russia to continue strikes on terrorist targets in Syria — defense official

March 15, 2016, 13:48 UTC+3 KHMEIMIM

The ceasefire that came into effect in Syria on February 27 is not applied to the Islamic State and Jabhat an-Nusra "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council"

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© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File

HMEIMIM/Syria/, March 15. /TASS/. Russia’s aviation group in Syria will continue delivering strikes on facilities of terrorists, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov said on Tuesday.

"Certain positive results have been reached. A real chance has emerged to bring an end to the long-time conflict and violence. However, it is early to speak about the victory over terrorism now," Pankov said.

"Russia’s aviation group has the task to continue delivering strikes on the facilities of terrorists," he told an event marking the accomplishment of tasks in Syria by Russian forces.

At the ceremony, also attended by Chief of Syria’s General Staff Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, the military personnel received state awards of Russia and Syria.

"The combat operations by Russia’s air and space group and support units in Syria have earned high appreciation of the supreme commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu," Pankov said at a special ceremony ending the special mission in Syria.

"Our military and our Syrian colleagues displayed resolution, competence, boldness, courage and heroism," Pankov said.

Pankov reminded that the ceasefire, which came into effect in Syria on February 27, is not applied to the Islamic State and Jabhat an-Nusra "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council."

The official noted that Russia’s operation dealt a heavy blow to terrorists thus helping to "step up offensive of government forces of the Syrian Arab Republic and liberate more than 200 settlements."

President Putin ordered on Monday to start withdrawing the main part of Russia’s forces from Syria as of March 15. He said the tasks assigned to the military were generally fulfilled. Russia has been carrying out an anti-terror operation in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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