GENEVA, April 29. /TASS/. Syrian army advance in the direction of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa with support of the Russian Aerospace Forces has continued already for a long time, Russian envoy to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin told TASS on Friday, commenting on reports saying the Syrian army was just planning an offensive.
"This started already many weeks ago. This is not news. I have simply repeated what [Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate chief Lt. Gen. Sergey] Rudskoy said. It was said many weeks ago that an operation was being prepared to unblock Deir ez-Zor," the diplomat said.
On January 11, Rudskoy said the Syrian armed forces, supported by Russian warplanes, were mounting an offensive on Raqqa.
Some media reports said earlier that the Syrian army was just planning an offensive to retake Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.