21:51 GMT +323 February 2018
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    In Two Months Russia Made More Progress in Syria Than US-led Coalition - Assad

    Russian Operation Against Terrorists Improves Situation in Syria - Assad

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    Situation in Syria has improved after Russia had started its air campiagn, president Assad told SANA.

    "The situation in Syria has improved since the beginning of the Russian operation against terrorists," Bashar al-Assad said. "And now I can say that the [Syrian] army is making advancement on every front."

    In two months the Russian aerospace forces have made more progress in Syria than the US-led coalition in a year, Assad added.

    "Before the Russian participation started about two months ago, it had been more than a year since the American – what they call the 'American alliance' – had begun their campaign against the terrorists, and the result is that the terrorists have gained more ground and more recruits from around the world," Assad said in an interview published by the Syrian SANA news agency.

    The main difference between the Russian and US-led operations in Syria is that Moscow, unlike Washington, cooperates with the Syrian Army, Assad underscored.

    "During the first month of the Russian participation, the same terrorists groups have been retreating and fleeing Syria," he added.

    The president has also noted that Damascus is ready for dialogue with opposition at intra-Syrian talks in Moscow.

    "During my Moscow visit I've said that we are ready for the 'Moscow-3' talks, because we need dialogue [with opposition]," Assad said.

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011. The conflict between government forces and rebels, exacerbated by jihadist groups active in the region, has killed some 230,000 and forced over four million Syrians to flee the country, primarily to neighboring states and Europe.

    Russia has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State radicals in Syria since late September at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Moscow also participates in the international efforts to find a political settlement to the crisis, having hosted two rounds of talks between the Syrian government and taking part in the Vienna talks on the Syrian settlement.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, air operation, airstrikes, terrorism, Syrian crisis, Russian Airborne Forces, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Russia
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