Syrian government forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces have finished an operation to encircle and destroy over 1,500 ISIS members that have entered Syria’s Deir Ezzor province from Iraq, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday.
“The Syrian military with the support from the Russian Aerospace Force finalize the operation to encircle and destroy a big IS [ISIS] grouping, which had invaded from Iraq,” the ministry’s spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov added that ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) “have suffered biggest losses in recent months.”
According to a text statement of the defense ministry, between September 19 and 29 Russian airstrikes killed 2,359 militants, including 16 field commanders, and injured about 2,700 others. The airstrikes also destroyed 67 outposts, 51 ammunition depots, 27 battle tanks, 21 rocket launchers and nearly 200 specialized vehicles belonging to terrorists.
“On September 19-29, surgical strikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces eliminated 2,359 and injured 2,700 insurgents. There were 16 field commanders of different levels and more than 400 extremists from Russia and CIS countries. In total, 67 strongholds, 27 tanks, 21 MLRSs, 149 ATVs with large-caliber machine guns, 17 car bombs, and 51 ammunition depots were destroyed,” the statement reads.
However, videos released by the ministry do not confirm the provided numbers of the terrorists’ casualties.
Russian airstrikes on ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham:
Clashes in Deir Ezzor: