XIAMEN (China), (Sputnik) — The situation in the ongoing Syrian civil war is evolving in a manner favorable to Damascus, but it is too early to speak about the defeat of terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
"As for the situation in Syria and the military operations in the country, the situation is developing in quite a favorable way for the government troops… Can we say that the Islamic State [Daesh], the Nusra front [terrorist groups outlawed in Russia] and other terrorist organizations have been defeated? Maybe it is too early to speak about it. But it is fact that the situation is changing. I hope that the partners would be in Raqqa before the end of the operation," Putin said.
On Monday the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Syrian government forces had driven Daesh terrorists out of key positions on the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway.
"Deir ez-Zor is not a political, but a military stronghold of all the radical opposition [in Syria]. The radical opposition in the bad sense of the word, the opposition related to the IS. As soon as the operation in Deir ez-Zor is finished, it will mean that the terrorists have faced a major defeat and the government troops and the government of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad have made significant gains," the Russian leader told reporters at the press conference after the BRICS summit.
Putin added that the BRICS member states to a varying degree are ready to make their contribution to the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the crisis-torn Syria.
"In regards to terrorism in general, it is a complicated world's problem that is related not only to Syria, but also to a number of other countries in the region, and not only in the region. The main problem in this context is that the radical groups are fueled due to the poverty and low level of education, which are fertile ground radicalism and terrorism. That's why we are gathering at such events like the BRICS summit and G20, to solve these global problems among other issues," the Russian president told reporters after the BRICS summit.
"We should make a yet another step in order to strengthen the ceasefire regime, to strengthen the de-escalation zones and to ensure a political process. Against the backdrop of this political process [it is necessary] to start recovering the economy. It is a major task and the Syrian authorities would face difficulties to cope with these issues without the international support… During the talks at this summit both on the sidelines and on the bilateral meetings… almost all my colleagues agree with this fact and are ready to contribute to the improvement of a humanitarian situation in Syria to a varying degree," Putin added.
Deir ez-Zor, located on the shores of the Euphrates River to the northeast of Damascus, and a military airfield near the city have been besieged by Daesh for over three years, with food and ammunition only being delivered by air, while helicopters from the city of Qamishli have been evacuating the wounded and delivering essential supplies to the city's population.
The lifting of the siege of Deir ez-Zor will lead to the complete defeat of the most combat-effective formations of the Daesh terrorist group in Syria, the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate said earlier.