Russian and Syrian forces conducted a joint security operation against ISIS cells in the Homs-Deir Ezzor province in the period from August 18 to August 24, a representative of the Russian military in Syria told RIA Novosti.
“Airstrikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force, artillery fire and actions of special surveillance and reconnaissance groups in the “white desert” liquidated 327 militants, destroyed 134 shelters, 17 observation posts, seven warehouses with equipment and five underground storage facilities for weapons and ammunition,” RIA Novisti quotes the statement.
The operation came in response to a series of successful ISIS attacks on Syrian pro-government forces in the desert areas in Homs and Deir Ezzor. One of these attacks, near Deir Ezzor city on August 18, led to the killing of Russian Major-General Vyacheslav Gladkih. Taking into the account the numbers provided by the Russian side, the August 18-24 operation likely delivered a powerful blow to ISIS cells hiding in the desert. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that the ISIS threat was fully removed. As long as areas not controlled by Damascus remain there (like the US-occupied area of al-Tanf), ISIS will always have where to hide and restore its forces.
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