BEIRUT – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the Islamic State group has suffered a "Complete defeat" "In the east of Syria at the hands of Syrian troops and forces led by the Kurds, both supported by Moscow."
During a visit to Nizhny Novgorod, Putin said that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu He said that the operations against IS on the west and east banks of the Euphrates River had been successfully completed, Putin said that some isolated pockets of resistance could remain in the area.
Meanwhile, Russian General Valery Gerasimov said to foreign military attachés that "all IS gangs in the territory of Syria have been destroyed and their territory has been liberated," Gerasimov said in a statement by Russian news agencies that Syrian government forces from two directions met in eastern Syria on Wednesday, completing the route.
He said that "there is no area under SI control in Syria", but it is believed that the group still maintains a presence in some scattered areas.
The Russian army says it has provided air support to Kurdish forces and local tribes in the oil-rich province of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria and helped coordinate its offensive against IS. The Syrian Democratic Forces led by the Kurds on Sunday thanked both the United States and Russia for their military support, days after the United States announced it would stop arming the group.
Russia launched an air campaign in support of the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2015.
Syrian activists say air strikes killed at least 12 civilians in a village in eastern Syria held by the Islamic State group on Tuesday.
Deir Ezzor 24 said the attack was targeting the village of al-Jarthi. The Syrian Human Rights Observatory based in Britain said that 21 civilians died, including 9 children. He said that Russia carried out the strikes.
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