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Daesh attempting to save last stronghold in Syria: Russia

Russia says Daesh is attempting to prevent its last stronghold in Syria from falling back under government control by concentrating forces and heavy weaponry in the western city of Dayr al-Zawr.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a Sunday statement that a recent joint push by the Syrian army and Russian air force near the town of Ghanem Ali in Raqqah Province recently slew 800 Daesh terrorists, Russia Today reported on Monday.

Among the fatalities were the “most capable and best armed group of [Daesh] in the Euphrates River valley,” it said.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier published footage showing some stages of the aerial operations in Ghanem Ali.

“Following the successful offensive action of the Syrian Armed Forces group supported by the Russian Air Forces in the Ghanem Ali area,” Daesh terrorists were trying “to regroup and establish fortified defensive positions in the Dayr al-Zawr area,” it said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the terrorist onrush toward the city showed that Daesh recognized “the fact that the staging area around Dayr al-Zawr is the last stronghold of the international terrorists on Syrian soil.”

Syria has faced militancy since March 2011. A mixed group of international terrorists, including from Daesh, have been fighting the Syrian government since then. In September 2015, Russia started an aerial campaign in Syria in support of the Damascus government’s anti-terror fight.

This file photo shows Russian Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft taking off from the Hmeimim military base in Latakia Province in western Syria.

The Syrian army and Russian air force were targeting the terrorists’ advance, the Russian Defense Ministry said in its Sunday statement.

It also said the Russian bombardment had destroyed “four tanks, 16 all-terrain vehicles with high-caliber machine guns mounted on them as well as two fortified positions that had gun lines” over the last 24 hours.

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