SOCHI, November 21. /TASS/. The active phase of Russia’s counter-terrorism operation in Syria is coming to an end, Russia’s Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov said on Monday.
During the trilateral meeting with the Chiefs of General Staff of Turkey and Iran, Hulusi Akar and Mohammad Bagheri, Gerasimov thanked General Bagheri for the idea to hold the meeting on fine-tuning a joint strategy to fight against terrorism.
"I expect that today we will find common approaches to continue further work in the Syrian direction," Gerasimov said.
The general noted that the three countries’ joint efforts helped to preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, stop the civil war and create conditions to restore peace and bring refugees back home.
Despite certain difficulties, it is important that agreements are reached. "The active phase of the military operation in Syria is nearing end. Although some issues are yet to be solved, this stage is coming to its logic end," he said.
Eradicating terror groups to pave way for Syrian settlement process
Before launching the post-conflict settlement process in Syria, there is a need to secure the previously achieved military gains to prevent terrorists from returning to the country, Gerasimov said.
According to Gerasimov, "Russia and Iran have done much to resolve the Syrian crisis."
"Thanks to our joint efforts, terrorists are being wiped out from the Al-Bukamal area in eastern Syria and the Syrian-Iranian border will soon be taken under control," he said.
"Completely eradicating militant groups, which is only a matter of time, will allow us to move to the post-conflict settlement. But before we do that, we need to secure the previously achieved military gains to prevent terrorists from returning to Syria," the chief of the Russian General Staff stressed.