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MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces have recaptured from militants twice as much territory over the past two months as the area controlled by the Syrian government in 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
"The Syrian army’s achievements are really impressive. Over the past two months, it has liberated the area larger than the one controlled by the Syrian government at the time when (the Russian Aerospace Forces) began their operations there. That is, we actually more than doubled it, I mean, the Syrian army supported by us," he said.
The Russian Aerospace Forces’ operation in Syria began on September 30, 2015, at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to begin the withdrawal of the bulk of Russian forces from Syria, as, according to the Russian leader, the Russian Defense Ministry’s tasks had been accomplished, by and large.
Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Sergei Rudskoi said at the end of July that the Syrian army now controls 74,200 square meters, whereas prior to the beginning of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ operation in September 2015, government troops controlled slightly more than 19,000 square meters of the country’s territory.