(SouthFront) – Over 54,000 militants have been eliminated and 1,000 settlements have been liberated in Syria over the past two years, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on November 7.
“More than 1,000 inhabited communities have been liberated, over 54,000 members of illegal armed units killed including more than 2,800 natives of Russia and 1,400 – of the former Soviet republics,” the Russian state-run media outlet TASS quoted Gerasimov’s statement at a meeting of the defense ministry board.
Gerasimov said that terrorists had about 1,500 battle tanks and armored vehicles, over 1,200 guns and mortars seized before they faced Russian forces an their allies. The terrorists had “no shortage of ammunition and materiel, which were constantly replenished from abroad.”
“Their commanders were trained in special camps under the watchful eye of Western instructors and military advisers from some countries of the Middle East, Western Europe and America. In some cases, special forces officers from these countries led illegal armed units,” the chief of the general staff said.
In terms of level of cohesion and training, militants were on the level of government troops and almost “every settlement was a fortified area with a well thought out fire system, concrete structures, a ramified system of artificial obstacles and underground communications.”
Gerasimov added that before the start of the Russian operation terrorist groups controlled more than 70% of Syria’s territory and continued to advance in all directions. Now, the cource of the conflict is changed.
Russia tested nearly all the modern hardware during the oepration and implemented the one target, one bomb principle, according to Gerasimov.
“Extensive use of reconnaissance means and strike weapons allowed us to implement the one target, one bomb principle,” he said. “In order to hit targets located within a radius of 4,000 kilometers, the Kalibr sea-based long-range cruise missiles and the X-101 air-launched missiles were used, as well as the Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers.”
“Within the 500-kilometer zone, the Sukhoi-24 bombers and the Sukhoi Su-33 fighters equipped with special computing devices operated, while within smaller zones, the Su-24M bombers were used, which are equipped with the Strelets reconnaissance complex,” he added. “The Sukhoi Su-34, Su-30SM and Su-35, the Mil Mi-28N and Kamov Ka-52 helicopters, the S-400 and Pantsir-S anti-aircraft systems, the T-90A and T-72B3 tanks proved effective, as well as the newest electronic warfare systems.“