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Militia detachment commander: Syria to be cleared of terrorism soon

February 02, 2016, 20:25 UTC+3

According to Syrian militia detachment Iskanderun commander Ali Halil, militiamen acting in Syria plan to keep coordinating their efforts with government troops and the Russian Aerospace Forces group

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

LATAKIA (Syria), February 2. /TASS/. Syria will soon be completely cleared of terrorism, Syrian militia detachment Iskanderun commander Ali Halil said in an interview with Russian media.

Halil said militiamen acting in Syria plan to keep coordinating their efforts with government troops and the Russian Aerospace Forces group.

"We will protect this territory and free this land of terrorists. We will bring peace here, like it used to be before. All of us — both Turkomans and Arabs — will jointly with the Russians be fighting terrorism," said Halil, whose detachment has been engaged in successful offensive operations against militants for a few months.

"We will free this land from terrorism," he said, adding that Turkey should not hinder the achievement of the goal. That country, the Syrian militiaman said, should solve its own problems: with democracy, tyranny, Kurds and others.

"Let it [Turkey] learn to live in peace with its people and not interfere in Syria’s affairs," Halil said.

"The goals [of Turkish President] Tayyip Erdogan are connected with that territory. Whereas our goal is to live in this country in peace and calm. Our goal is to liberate our land," the Syrian militia commander underscored.

He warned Turkey against seizing a foreign territory, calling such actions criminal.

Russian military operation is Syria

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, 2015, 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 2015, 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 thousands of sorties since the start of the operation in Syria.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

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