The area controlled by the Damascus government in Syria has grown by 250 percent over the past twon months, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu said on Sunday.
“Over the past two months, the territories controlled by Damascus have grown by 250 percent,” Shoigu told the state-run Rossiya 24 broadcaster adding that Russia pushes the US-led block to separate moderate rebels from terrorists.“We’ve started persuading our American colleagues that terrorists should be separated from opposition to understand where to strike… Establishing the de-escalation zones today is exactly this separation.”
Shoigu also added that the key town of Sukhna has been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the province of Homs and this opens an opportunity to lift the ISIS siege from the strategic city of Deir Ezzor.
“Today we can say that everyone is focused, set up for the fight against ISIS. Today there are such key points, like Deir Ezzor – I would say, first and foremost Deir Ezzor… It’s such a basic point on the Euphrates River, which would largely, if not ultimately, tell about the end of the fight against ISIS.”
Meanwhile, clashes continued at multiple frontlines in the provinces of Homs and Raqqah. According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS terrorists destroyed 2 SAA battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles north of the Shaer fields and a SAA soldier was killed as a result of clashes near Abu Ilaj village near the Ithriyah-Raqqah highway.
In turn, the SAA continued developing momentum in the area of Sukhna where it reportedly seized 2 points north of the recently liberated town and in the Raqqah province where the Tiger Forces increased pressure on ISIS in an attempt to take control over Maadan town.