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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Daesh controls less than 5% of Syrian territory: Russia

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:04AM

Moscow says less than five percent of the Syrian territory remains under the grip of Daesh terrorists as government forces, backed by Russian air power, press ahead with an offensive to drive the Takfiri outfit out of its main stronghold in eastern Syria.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a conference in the Philippines on Monday that terrorists used to control more than 70 percent of Syria before the Russian military launched an aerial campaign in support of Syrian counterterrorism operations in September 2015.

Russian warplanes have destroyed more than 900 training camps and a multitude of heavy weaponry that belonged to the terrorists.

In recent weeks, the Syrian army, under Russian air cover, has focused its efforts on the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

Backed by the Russian military and allied forces, the Syrian army has managed to break Daesh's three-year siege on Dayr al-Zawr province, though the total elimination of the group is yet to come.

Daesh overran large parts of Dayr al-Zawr Province, including its many oil fields, in mid-2014 as it seized swathes of land in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

US-led coalition denies fatal raid

The US-led coalition, purportedly fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria, has denied that it was behind an airstrike which killed over a dozen civilians in a government-held region in Dayr al-Zawr, a spokesman for the coalition said on Tuesday.

The spokesman said the coalition's only air raid in the vicinity in recent weeks took place in September across the Euphrates from Dayr al-Zawr City.

Syrian state television reported on Monday that the strike had been launched by coalition jets against the government-held region of Qusur, leaving 14 civilians dead and 32 more injured.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, put the death toll at around 22, without confirming the origin of the strikes.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians.

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