Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russia Claims Victory Over Islamic State in Syria

Russia Claims Victory Over Islamic State in Syria

Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi, head of the general staff's operations, said, "The mission to defeat bandit units of the Islamic State terrorist organization on the territory of Syria, carried out by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, has been accomplished", according to Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"All armed IS groups on Syrian territory have been destroyed, and the territory itself has been liberated", General Valery Gerasimov was cited as saying by the Defense Ministry's press service during his annual meeting with foreign military representatives.

But "to stop any chance for it to actually start again under another name and under another person requires a credible political process, constitution, parliamentary presidential elections under United Nations supervision", he said.

It remains to be seen whether the Russian Aerospace Forces will continue military operations in the region or would completely draw to a close.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin said efforts to end the war were entering a "new stage" as the focus shifts from military intervention to political reform. Russian Federation had not previously acknowledged cooperating with the Kurds in the Syrian conflict.

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Iran, Russia and Turkey have coordinated activities to act as a guarantor of peace talks in Syria which have taken place in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The extremist group still controls patches of territory in eastern Syria, where it imposes a media blackout.

Russian Federation began launching airstrikes against various Syrian opposition groups in September 2015 as support for Syria's military. In addition to homegrown dissidents, opposition factions included known global terrorists and Islamist extremists.

Putin also said it was important to establish the Congress of Syrian Peoples, a proposed peace conference that Russian Federation has offered to host, which would lead to the preparation of a new constitution and then presidential and parliamentary elections.

"Its biggest presence is on the eastern side of the Euphrates, where it still holds around eight percent of Deir Ezzor Province", he said.

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