2 Aug 2018 15:27

ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra groups liquidated in southwestern Syria - Russian General Staff

MOSCOW. Aug 2 (Interfax-AVN) - A unique operation has been accomplished in the Syrian southwestern provinces of as-Suwayda, Daraa, and al-Quneitra to liquidate illegal armed units, Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

"A unique operation has been held over the past month to liquidate illegal armed units in the provinces of as-Suwayda, Daraa, and al-Quneitra in southwestern Syria," Rudskoi said.

"Units of the terrorist groups ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra (both banned in Russia) were hiding there under the disguise of 'moderate opposition' and controlled over 55% of the southern de-escalation area," he said.

"The terrorist groups continually fought 'moderate' opposition units to expand territories under their control. Civilians found themselves hostage to the situation and suffered a large deficit of food, medicine, and drinking water. Humanitarian assistance supplied by international organizations fell into the hands of terrorists and as a rule did not reach the civilian population," Rudskoi said.

"Any attempts by the local population to protect their rights and property were severely punished by the terrorists, up to public executions," he said.

"The terrorists also tried to take over land controlled by government forces. The threat to Russian military police stationed along the contact line was real," Rudskoi said.