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LATAKIA (Syria), February 8. /TASS/. The recent successes of the Syrian army in the fight against terrorism testify to the efficiency of its interaction with the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group, Latakia Governorate Governor Khodr Ibrahim Salem said while speaking to conscripts.
Against the background of continuing government troops offensive on the stronghold of radical Islamists, more and more Syrian nationals try to support their compatriots and make part of volunteer detachments.
After taking oath, hundreds of militiamen will enter inhabited localities liberated by the military and will protect them from possible attacks and subversive activities on the part of militants.
"These victories are a proof of good joint work of the Syrian army and the Russian Aerospace Forces group. They show that our people is holding on to its land and will never give it to terrorists," Salem said.
Last week, the Syrian army cut off the key supply routes for terrorists in northern Aleppo leading from Turkey. After that the troops, supported by militia, Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Syria’s Air Force, managed to break the four-year blockade of the localities of Nubel and Al-Zahra, where 70,000 residents were besieged.
On Friday, the government troops continued their offensive to the north toward Turkey. Their aim is to establish complete control of the border via which militants regularly get supplies of hardware and manpower.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed over 220,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011. Gangs of militants making part of various armed formations, the most active of them being the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, fight government troops.
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 deployed 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.