Syrian troops have eliminated more than 270 ISIS members during the operation in the province of Al-Suwayda since the middle of November, Oleg Makarevich, a spokesman for the command of the Russian task force in Syria, told media on December 3.
“During the operation, over 270 militants were killed, large amounts of weapons, ammunition, shells, foreign-made landmines, including 12 TOW anti-tank guided missiles, were seized,” he stressed adding that most militants had arrived in al-Suwayda from the US-controlled area of At-Tanf.
“The terrorists had been there for a long time, flocking to the area for several months. Among them were militants who were able to leave Yarmouk and Damascus in advance and also arrived from al-Tanf. Another difficulty was that tanks and heavy artillery have very limited maneuverability there, while the militants had many grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles and 82mm mortars.”
On November 19, the Syrian military declared that the al-Safa area in al-Suwayda, located less than 100 kilometers from Damascus had been liberated from ISIS terrorists.
The entire area of 380 square kilometers was declared to be liberated. ISIS leader in southern Syria, Abu Hajar al-Shishani, was eliminated during the operation, according to the SANA news agency. Thus, according to the Syrian and Russian state-run media, the Syrian Army eliminated the last ISIS stronghold in southern Syria.
However, according to local sources, ISIS cells still operate in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert as well as in a small area north of al-Safa.