MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Russia’s planes in Syria have flown 316 sorties over the past five days to deal 819 strikes on terrorists of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia), the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy, told the media.
"To eliminate the encircled terrorists trying to retreat towards Deir ez-Zor the intensity of strikes by Russian aircraft was increased to 60-70 sorties a day. Russia’s Aerospace Force carries out air reconnaissance and eliminates IS armored vehicles, pickup trucks armed with heavy weapons and truck convoys carrying ammunition round the clock. Over the past five days Russian planes flew 316 sorties to deal 819 strikes," Colonel-General Rudskoy said.
In all, Rudskoy said, Russia’s planes in August carried out 990 sorties.
"A total of 2,518 air strikes were dealt against command centers, positions, warehouses and transit camps of terrorists. Forty armored vehicles, 106 trucks carrying heavy machineguns and up to 800 terrorists were destroyed," he said.
"The operation to recapture central Syria from terrorists is nearing completion," Rudskoy stated.
Aleppo Governorate fully liberated from terrorists
Syria’s Aleppo Governorate has been fully liberated from terrorists, Rudskoi told reporters.
"The Aleppo Governorate has been fully liberated from terrorists," he said.
According to Rudskoi, in the past month, the Syrian government troops, supported by the Russian Aerospace force, have achieved significant success, inflicting much damage on a large armed unit of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) in central Syria.
"A total of 50 settlements and an area of more than 2,700 square kilometers have been cleared of militants," the Russian general said speaking about the liberation of the Aleppo Governorate.
Akerbat city to be liberated shortly
Syrian government troops will liberate the city of Akerbat in the near future, they encircled gunmen east of Itriya, Rudskoi said.
"Following government forces’ strike, a large group of ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terror group) terrorists has been encircled near the city of Akerbat. Offensive operations continue to tighten the encirclement. The city of Akerbat will be liberated shortly. Militants have also been encircled east of Itriya," Rudskoi said.
According to Rudskoi, that was possible thanks to swift offensive operations by General Hasan Sukhel’s units supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces. "The Syrian army is advancing at a rate of 30-40 kilometers per day or more. Following the Syrian army’s operations, the cities of El-Kom, Bir Kdem, the Manbija oilfield have been liberated, the offensive against Et-Teibe continues thus creating another encirclement ring," he noted.
Rudskoi added that the Syrian government forces grouping operating east of Palmyra has seized the strategically important inhabited community of al-Sukhnah and is developing an offensive against Deir ez-Zor. "The key objective is to destroy the last terrorist stronghold in the Deir ez-Zor area," he stressed.
Syrian army's rapid advance in Raqqa province
The Syrian army is advancing on positions of Islamic State in Syrian Raqqa province at a speed of more than 30 kilometers a day, according to Rudskoy.
"Units of ISIS (former name of Islamic State) in this area are fully defeated. The Syrian army is advancing at a speed of 30-40 or more kilometers a day," Rudskoy said.
Sergey Rudskoy reiterated that overnight to August 12, a unique landing operation was carried behind the lines of IS units in the area of Al-Kadir in Raqqa province with the support of Russian aircraft. ‘"The suddenness and swiftness of the landing operation, as well as efficiency of fire damage from the Syrian artillery and Russian Ka-52 strike helicopters, provided a possibility to quickly move towards Al-Kadir the bulk strength of government troops and capture it without losses," the general said.
Syrian forces advance to Deir ez-Zor from three directions
Syria’s army is advancing towards Deir ez-Zor from three directions, Rudskoy said.
"At present, the Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, are rapidly advancing towards Deir ez-Zor from three directions. The lodgement around this city is the last terrorist stronghold on Syrian soil," the general said.