According to the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation, almost 70 al-Nusra (also known as Tahrir al-Sham) militants were killed, as the government forces jointly with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) repelled the terrorist group's attack in Syria's southern de-escalation zone. The Russian military noted that there were no losses among the Syrian army’s servicemen, but provided no details regarding casualties among the FSA units.
"Over the past 24 hours, Jabhat al-Nusra militants have attacked the settlements in the southern zone of de-escalation, which joined the legitimate government," the center's statement reads.
In addition, Syrian government troops have destroyed 3 armored vehicles and 14 pickups carrying the heavy machine guns of militants, according to the statement.
The total number of settlements in the southern de-escalation zone which joined the Syrian government forces increased to 12 on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry pointed out.
The day before, Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in his interview with a Russian broadcaster that the terrorists from the Nusra Front can return to the idea of building a so-called caliphate with Western help.
Most of Syria's territory has already been liberated by the government forces backed by the Russian Air Force, however, there are still some terrorist pockets located mainly in the southwest US-controlled areas.
The international community has actively been making an effort to find a solution to the Syrian conflict and forge peace within the country. As a result of the Astana talks, four de-escalation zones have been established in Syria, including a southern de-escalation zone.
* al-Nusra Front — a terrorist organization banned in Russia