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GROZNY, May 24. /TASS/. Russia’s operation in Syria is a "pin-point military plan" and it will never grow into a "new Afghanistan," Deputy Russian Security Council Secretary Yevgeny Lukyanov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Someone predicted that this will be a new Afghanistan or something else. That will never happen," Lukyanov stressed. "This is a pin-point limited military plan," he said, describing Russia’s campaign in Syria.
"The main goal of our military operation was to launch a political dialogue," he said. "There needs to be an agreement, an agreement only through compromise."
"We are not Syrians, we will not fight for Syria there," Lukyanov said. "They should solve all issues themselves. We are helping but you see in what a limited format."
According to the official, some 33,000 gunmen have already been destroyed in Syria in the operation against terrorists, and 5,000 of them have been killed by the coalition forces.
"According to our estimates, in the beginning of our operation Jabhat al-Nusra and Daesh had around 80,000 gunmen," Yevgeny Lukyanov said. "28,000 have been already destroyed, and the coalition destroyed another 5,000 over two years."
He said a turning point in the fight against terrorism in Syria has already come. "I believe that not only we think so," Lukyanov added.
"Judging from the reaction of the so-called actors on this theater of war and sometimes aggressive manifestations of the terrorist irreconcilable opposition, they strive to disrupt the process that is already a sign of a turning point."
Another sign is the withdrawal of a major part of Russia’s forces from Syria. "More than 100 settlements have acknowledged the ceasefire as a legal fact and observe it," he said. "Naturally, in these conditions the forces opposing this process will do everything to torpedo it."
Russia launched the operation against terrorists in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Ceasefire took effect in Syria on February 27, 2016. Russia withdrew the main part of its forces from Syria in mid-March but its air task force continued delivering strikes against terrorists.