DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Commenting on the second anniversary of the anti-terror operation carried out by the Russian Armed Forces in Syria at Damascus' request, Syrian commander Brig. General Abdel Majid Abdel Hamid told Sputnik that Russia has played an important role in the Syrian settlement not only through military means, but through political and diplomatic efforts as well.
"The Russian political and diplomatic position on Syria which manifested itself in the use of the veto six times [in the UN Security Council] did not allow the United States and NATO hit the country… It plays a big role in the success of negotiations [on the Syrian settlement in Astana and Geneva], or, at least, in persuading the countries that support the opposition to send delegations, the efforts in this area are ongoing," Hamid said.
The commander also noted that the Russian military support contributed to regaining of 85 percent of the country by the Syrian armed forces. He also underlined the importance of Russia's humanitarian aid.
"Russia spread into the heart of almost all Syrians, when it became clear that the main objective of its assistance was to stop the bloodshed and create conditions for the Syrian settlement," Hamid said.
Syria has been in a state of civil war for over six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups and terrorist organizations. Moscow has been assisting Damascus since September 2015 at the request of the Syrian government, both through support in the struggle against the terrorist groups and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the crisis-torn country. Since the start of the Russian operation, the Syrian army has managed to liberate the country's biggest city of Aleppo, the ancient city of Palmyra, as well as lifted the siege of the city of Deir ez-Zor.