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MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The situation in Syria has changed profoundly over the past week, above all, because of the Russian air strikes, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov told a briefing for foreign military attaches and journalists on Friday.
"Over the past week, the situation [in Syria] has undergone profound changes. This is connected, above all, with the results of the strikes of the Russian aviation group on the facilities of the Islamic State terrorist group," Kartapolov said.
He noted that during the past week alone 46 control centers and communication hubs, 6 plants and shops making explosives, 22 fuel and property depots as well as 272 areas of militants’ concentration, fortified localities and field camps had been destroyed.
Earlier on Friday, Kartapolov said that Russian aircraft had made nearly 400 sorties over the past week.
Russia’s aerospace forces will continue to deliver air strikes at Islamic State positions in Syria as new information on their locations becomes available, deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff went on to say.
"Air strikes against Islamic State gunmen will be continued as new reliable information on their facilities becomes available," he told a briefing for foreign military attaches and journalists. "But it is obvious already now that our air strikes were not useless."
"As Syrians now say they see smiles on the faces of their children. And it is worth exerting effort to uproot the 21st century evil, the international terrorist organization Islamic State," the Russian general stressed, adding that it was obvious that this goal was unattainable without pooling efforts of all parties concerned.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched surgical strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30. The military operation is conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters. In addition to that, strikes were delivered by Caspian Flotilla ships. According to Kartapolov, Russian Navy’s ships in the Mediterranean may be involved in the strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria.
The Syrian government troops backed by Russia’s aerospace forces continue an offensive operation and regained control of six settlements in the Hama province, three settlements in the northern areas of the Latakia province. Fighting is underway in six settlements in the northern areas of the Homs province, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Andrey Kartapolov informed.
He said six settlements had been retaken by the Syrian government forces in the Hama province. Currently, fighting is underway at the approaches to the settlements of Habit, Al-Latamna and Sukaik.
"In the north of the Homs province, the Syrian troops have liberated the town of Khalidiya and blocked six settlements, namely Gur, Sem-Ali, Teir-Maala, al-Ghanto and Javalik. According to our information, mopping up operations are underway inthese settlements," Kartapolov said.
He also said Syrian troops were conducting an anti-terrorist operation in Damascus’ suburbs Eastern Ghouta and Jobar. "After fierce fighting two districts of the Jobar suburb have been liberated. The Syrian troops continue movement in the southwestern direction," he added.
"In the north of the Latakia province, Syrian troops captured three settlements and an altitude of 1,050 in Salma’s southern suburb. According to our information, they continue an offensive northwards," he said.
Apart from that, he said, Syrian forces staged an offensive near Aleppo towards the Kweres airbase and captured the settlement of Muslimiya and the major part of Kafer-Touma.
"The Syrian forces continue the offensive from Aleppo towards Idlib. They have blocked terrorists in the settlements of Khan Tuman, Kudehi, Abtin and reached the settlement of Shghaidla," he said.