Friday, May 5, 2017

Russian air force not used in Syria since May 1

Russia stopped to use its air force in Syria under the memorandum on de-escalation zones in Syria from May 1, Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the main operation department of Russia’s General Staff, said on Friday.
"From 00:00 on May 1, Russia stopped to use its air force in area designated as de-escalation zones in the memorandum," he said.

"Setting up de-escalation zones will improve the position of the government troops. The Russian Aerospace Force will continue supporting them in their operations aimed at eliminating militants of the Islamic State international terror group (outlawed in Russia)," he said.

"The area of Kabun, which is completely controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra militants and from where Damascus, including the Russian embassy there, is being shelled, was not included into this zone [of de-escalation - TASS]. The operation against terrorists in this area will be continued," he said.

According to Rudskoi, the focus will be on the offensive east of Palmyra and the liberation of Deir ez-Zor which has been besieged by militants for three years now, as well as on the liberation of the southeastern areas of the Aleppo Governorate.

"The issue of Russia’s return to full-scale participation in the Memorandum on incidents prevention in the Syrian airspace will be discussed during bilateral contacts with US colleagues in near future," Rudskoi said.......

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