MOSCOW, October 20 /TASS/. A huge number of foreign mercenaries is arriving in the Syrian province of Idlib to fight the government troops on the side of the militants, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on its website on Tuesday referring to Syrian reconnaissance data.
"The chieftains of terrorist groups are trying to recoup the losses which were sustained in battles against the Syrian troops or occurred as a result of militants’ desertion from the frontline. According to the Syrian reconnaissance information, a huge number of foreign mercenaries is arriving in Idlib province," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
At the same time, the Russian Armed Forces General Staff said that the terrorists defending the town of al-Shaykh Maskin in Deraa province were short of ammunitions and personnel.
"They have had nothing to eat for the past three days. The local population is avoiding any cooperation (with the militants) and is refusing to help them," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"The militants are depressed by the huge losses. Cases of desertion from the frontline have become commonplace," the ministry went on to say.
The Russian aircraft have been delivering air strikes at the positions of the Islamic State terrorist group, which is banned in Russia, at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 30. The Russian air group in Syria consists of more than 50 planes and helicopters. Russia is not planning any ground operation in Syria.
The Russian warplanes have made 55 sorties and attacked 60 terrorist targets over the past 24 hours.