DAMASCUS, December 3. /TASS/. Syrian troops have wiped out more than 270 militants of the Islamic State (IS, terror group, outlawed in Russia) during the offensive in As-Suwayda Governorate since the middle of November, Oleg Makarevich, a spokesman for the command of the Russian task force in Syria, told reporters.
On November 19, the Syrian armed forces said the entire Al-Safa Canyon area located less than 100 kilometers from Damascus had been liberated from terrorists in As-Suwayda. An area of 380 square kilometers was liberated, while IS leader in southern Syria, Abu Hajar al-Shishani, was eliminated during the operation, according to the SANA news agency. The Syrian military thus eliminated the last militant stronghold in the south of that country.
"During the operation, over 270 militants were killed, large amounts of weapons, ammunition, shells, foreign-made landmines, including 12 TOW anti-tank guided missiles, were seized," Makarevich noted.
He stressed that most of the militants had arrived in As-Suwayda from the al-Tanf area controlled by the US-led coalition.
"The terrorists had been there for a long time, flocking to the area for several months. Among them were militants who were able to leave Yarmouk and Damascus in advance and also arrived from al-Tanf. Another difficulty was that tanks and heavy artillery have very limited maneuverability there, while the militants had many grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles and 82mm mortars," he added.