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MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. The Syrian troops have won the battle for the town of Deir ez-Zor against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) , Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoi, the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, said on Wednesday.
"The battle against terrorist groups near the town of Deir ez-Zor has been won," Rudskoi said, adding that this victory is more important than previous victories.
"The Syrian people have been waiting for it for over three years," he added.
On Tuesday, Syrian government troops broke through the defenses of the IS terrorists on the outskirts of Deir ez-Zor and broke the three-year siege of the city. To support the Syrian troops’ offensive, Russia’s Aerospace Force delivered a massive airstrike on the main strongholds, manpower and materiel of the Islamic State near Deir ez-Zor, while Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from the Admiral Essen frigate.
"Over this time, the Syrian armed forces have cleaned of terrorists 4,800 square kilometers of territory, and militants have been forced out of 59 settlements," Rudskoy said.
Russia is making every effort to reinstate peace to the Syrian territory, refraining from unnecessary violence and saving people’s lives, he said. The operation to destroy militants of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups (outlawed in Russia) in Syria will continue until they are fully destroyed.
Russian servicemen continue providing humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Syrian areas liberated from terrorists. Over the past two weeks, the Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties carried out 15 humanitarian missions, supplying citizens with more than 29 tonnes of food, medicines and essentials.
Russian military doctors from a hospital provided assistance to more than 1,800 civilians. A total of 53,000 Syrians received medical treatment and had consultations with Russian specialists.
Agreements on joining the ceasefire were signed with representatives of 26 settlements, bringing the total number to 2,233.
The Islamic State terror group’s unit active near the Syrian town of Uqayribat has been dispersed, its elimination is almost completed, Rudskoi said.
According to him, Uqayribat, an important transport hub which was turned into a stronghold by militants, has been liberated.
"Today, the town of Uqayribat is actually split up into two parts - one on the ground surface and the other one underground," Rudskoi went on to say. "Members of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State group - TASS] were preparing for a long siege, they accumulated a significant amount of weapons, ammunition, food and medicine," the Russian general said.
"After three rings of encirclement were formed in the area, the terrorist unit was dispersed and now its separate parts are being eliminated," Rudskoi noted.
Commander of the Russian forces in Syria Colonel General Sergei Surovkin, in turn, said that in order to support the Syrian government troops’ offensive towards Uqayribat, the Russian Aerospace Force’s aircraft had delivered as many as 329 airstrikes, destroying 27 pieces of armored equipment and 48 pickup trucks mounted with large-caliber weapons, as well as eliminating more than 1,000 militants.
"A mop-up operation is underway north and west of Uqayribat in order to clear the area from the ISIL units," Surovkin added.
Rudskoi also said that a deconfliction zone has been established near the Syrian city of Tell Rifaat with the assistance of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Parties.
"To prevent provocations and potential clashes between Free Syrian Army units located in northern Syria and the Kurdish militia, a deconfliction zone has been established near Tell Rifaat with the assistance of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Parties," he said.
Rudskoi noted that Russia continues to do its utmost to help bring the situation in Syria's areas recaptured from terrorists back to normal. He added that three de-escalation zones are successfully operating in the country - in southern Syria, near Eastern Ghouta and in the north of the Homs province, where the Russian military police personnel ensures compliance with the cessation of hostilities.
According to Rudskoi, thanks to the agreements reached by officers from the Russian reconciliation center and representatives of the moderate Syrian opposition, it was possible to unblock traffic movement along the strategically important Homs-Hama highway. That made it possible to facilitate the movement of people and cargo between Syria’s north and south, which contributes to the country’s economic revival.