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Syrian army for first time liberates town from Islamic State in airborne operation

Russian helicopters hit a force of the Islamic State near the village of Al-Kadir before the landing of a Syrian assault force

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Syrian government troops have for the first time liberated a town from Islamic State in an airborne operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"Overnight to August 12, for the first time since the beginning of combat operations against the terrorist group Islamic State in Syria, Syrian government forces organized and conducted a virtuosic tactical landing operation behind militants’ lines with their subsequent defeat and liberation of the settlement of Al-Kadir (about 120 kilometers west of Deir ez-Zor)," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, the operation was conducted and the command of General Suheil al-Hassan, one of Syria’s most renowned military commanders.

"Russian military advisers took direct part in the preparation of the operation and control over it," the ministry noted.

Before the operation, Russian helicopters Ka-52 hit a force of the Islamic State near the village of Al-Kadir, the ministry said, adding that the helicopters directed fire by Syria’s multiple rocket launchers.

"The assault operation began with an effective fire attack against Islamic State positions and military equipment (Islamic State is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) in this area, carried out by Syria’s multiple rocket launchers and Russia’s Ka-52 helicopters Alligator. The helicopters equipped with night vision instruments effectively directed rocket fire and destroyed the terrorists’ armor and armed vehicles," the ministry said.

Syrian government troops landed near the settlements of Khirbet Mikman and Al-Kadir (Raqqa province) located some 20 kilometers off the frontline. After a fire attack, Syrian paratroopers moved along the dry river bed to Al-Kadir, took a commanding hill and began the assault of the village.

"In a short battle, Syrian paratroopers under the command of General Suheil Hassan destroyed the militants’ headquarters and depots, hit two tanks and three armored vehicles. The landing party kept the positions until major forces came to the area in the morning on August 12. The actions of the landing party and the efficiency of the strike on Islamic State militants made it possible for the Syrian government army to take Al-Kadir without losses," the ministry said, adding that terrorists retreated and the Syrian army took control of an area of about 60 square kilometers, three populated localities and two oil fields.