MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Rudskoy called on other countries to take part in mine-clearing operations of heritage sites in Palmyra.
"To date, Russian specialists cleared 18 socially significant facilities, 940 buildings and residence across a territory of over 445 hectares [1,100 acres], 46 kilometers of roads, neutralizing more than 1,800 explosive items and improvised explosive devices," chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said.
The Syrian government forces have extended a safety zone surrounding Palmyra by 5-10 miles, Rudskoy also stated.
"In the Palmyra area, the Syrian army with the support of militia units continues to expand the security zone around the city. The advance of government troop units consisted of 16 kilometers in the northeastern direction, up to 8 kilometers in the eastern direction."
Rudskoy said the safety zone extended to more than 7 miles in the northeastern direction of Palmyra.
He added that over 115 settlements and more than 424 square miles have been liberated from the banned in Russia Islamic State terrorist organization.
On March 2, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed in a report to President Vladimir Putin that the Syrian army had regained control over the city of Palmyra with support of the Russian aircraft.
The city was occupied by Daesh in May 2015 and was under control of the terrorists until March 2016, when the Syrian army supported by the Russia's Aerospace Forces liberated it. However, the jihadists succeeded to drive out the Syrian government forces in December 2016 after a large-scale offensive.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!