Moscow says ISIS Takfiri terrorists appear to be abandoning their positions in Syria, as army forces, backed by Moscow’s air support, continue to make more gains against the militants on different fronts.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Thursday that the militants “are retreating; they are trying to build new position areas and to adjust the logistics system providing them with ammunition, armaments and gear on their way.”
Konashenkov further said Russia is processing and analyzing data from Russian sources and an intelligence-sharing center in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad regarding the developments in Syria.
Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia formed the Baghdad information center in late September as part of their efforts to fight terrorist organizations operating in the Middle East, particularly ISIS.
“Clearly, we have stepped up the intensity of reconnaissance flights of aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles for verifying and confirming this information,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that Russian warplanes had conducted at least 15 airstrikes on the edge Syria’s western town of Talbiseh and nearby areas, killing six militants there.
Russia launched its first airstrikes against Takfiri terrorists in Syria on September 30 at the request of the Damascus government. Moscow says its air raids are meant to weaken ISIS and other terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in Syria.
US Role in Syria “Unconstructive”
In another development on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the US for playing an “unconstructive” role in Syria, adding, “I don’t quite understand how our American partners can criticize Russia’s actions in Syria in the fight against international terrorism if they refuse to hold direct dialogue even in such an important area as political settlement.”
Putin made the remarks on a visit to Kazakhstan after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Washington had refused to host a Russian delegation for talks on the crisis in Syria and also refused to send its own mission to Moscow.
The US criticism of Russia’s anti-terror air raids comes as Washington, along with its Western and regional allies, have long been supporting the Takfiri groups operating to topple the Syrian government since 2011.
Since last September, the US and some its allies have been carrying out airstrikes against what is said to be ISIS positions in Syria, but the air raids, which come without a UN mandate or coordination with Damascus, have so far failed to dislodge the notorious terror group in the Arab country.
The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of a similar US-led aerial campaign against alleged ISIS bases in Iraq, which started in August 2014; Press TV reported.