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Russian Federation just declared the defeat of ISIS in eastern Syria

Russian Federation just declared the defeat of ISIS in eastern Syria

Hours prior, the Chief of Russia's General Staff General Valery Gerasimov made a similar announcement to reporters, noting: "All (Islamic State group) units in Syria have been destroyed, and the territory has been liberated".

The senior officer emphasized that to date, not a single settlement or district remains under the terrorist group's control in the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday a complete victory had been achieved over Daesh (ISIS) on both banks of the Euphrates River in Syria, adding that the focus would switch to a political process that would eventually involve presidential and parliamentary elections.

At the same time, special forces were on the ground directing planes and "destroying the most odious leaders of militant groups behind enemy lines", he said.

In addition, he said that "the final stage of the defeat of the terrorists was accompanied by the unprecedented deployment and intense combat use of Russia's air force", including 14 sorties of groups of long-range bombers that occurred in the past month.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, yesterday said that IS still holds about eight percent of Deir Ezzor province.

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The UN's Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said at a press conference in Geneva that winning territory back from the Islamic State did not stamp out the jihadists' influence or preclude them from re-appearing in the future in a different form.

Syria's delegation has called the opposition's insistence on Assad's removal "provocative" and "irresponsible".

Russian Federation has waged an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces since September 2015. In recent weeks, the terrorist group has been progressively driven out of the country by a combination of Syrian government forces, Kurdish militias and Russia's Aerospace Forces.

Smoke billows from the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour during an operation by Syrian government forces against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on November 2, 2017.

The Syrian conflict began in 2011 and over 340,000 people have been killed.

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