MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The main forces of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) fled to Libya and southwestern Asia after being defeated in Syria, the chief of the Russian General Staff, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said on Wednesday.
"Some of them return to countries, from which they illegally arrived. The bulk of them flees to Libya, to southwestern Asian countries," the official said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.
Gerasimov added that certain groups of terrorists flee to Afghanistan, where "conditions are favorable for them."
On December 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) had been fully defeated on both banks of the Euphrates River in Syria. Five days later, Putin ordered the pullout of Russian forces from Syria, which was declared complete on December 22. Along with the naval base in Tartus and the air base in Hmeymim, Russian military presence in Syria was cut to three military police battalions and the Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides.
According to Gerasimov, the effort to eliminate members of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) in Syria, who attempt to disrupt the ceasefire in de-escalation zones, will be completed in 2018.