MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Syrian government forces have launched offensive on positions of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in 10 directions thanks to the Russian military operation in the country, Chief of General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov said on Friday.
He reminded that Syrian government forces started to prepare for launching an offensive in several directions already two weeks after Russian forces started delivering air strikes at terrorists in Syria back in autumn of 2015.
"Now, I have to say this tendency is becoming more common. Out of 15 directions, offensives are launched in 10 of them, preparations for launching an offensive are underway in three directions, and two directions are on the defense," Gerasimov told Rossiya 24 TV channel.
However, militants continue receiving supplies of weapons and ammunition from other countries, he added noting that terrorists’ finances considerably shrank as Russian jets continue bombing convoys of fuel trucks and oil extraction facilities.
"In general, if we describe the dynamic of military actions on the Syrian territory, I would say that government forces hold strategic initiative and initiative in most directions, that is they are conducting active military actions. Sooner or later ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — former name of IS] will be defeated," he added.
On September 30 last year Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to launch a military operation in Syria against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces delivered first targeted airstrikes at militants’ positions on the same day. More than 50 jets and helicopters take part in the operation, including Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets, Su-25 aircraft, Su-30SM fighter aircraft, and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. Since the start of the operation, Russian aviation made hundreds of sorties, destroyed dozens of ammunition depots, explosives production plants and command posts.