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Syrian army eliminates 50 militants south of Damascus

January 02, 2016, 23:27 UTC+3

Another 250 militants were wounded. The operation to liberate the city lasted three days

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BEIRUT, January 2. /TASS/. Soldiers of the Syrian government army on Saturday recaptured the key city of Sheikh-Miskin south of Damascus at the confluence of roads leading to the southern provinces of Daraa, Al-Quneitra and As-Suwayda, killing at least 50 militants, a regional information portal reported.

Another 250 militants were wounded. The operation to liberate the city lasted three days.

The Syrian army command said it hopes the recapture of Sheikh-Miskin will make it possible to block all channels of supply of gangs south of Damascus stretching from the border with Jordan.

Syria’s Air Force on Saturday made raids on the positions of gangs in the town of Aazaz on the border with Turkey, as well as a base of the Islamic State terrorist organization north of Aleppo. "The terrorists sustained casualties and hardware losses," a military communique says.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.

On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.

In mid-November, Russia increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria to 69 and involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants.

Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries.

Russia’s aircraft have made 5,240 sorties since the start of the operation in Syria, with 145 of them performed by long-range aircraft.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

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