The forces of the Islamic State have been completely defeated in Syria, stated Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a report of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, reports Interfax.
“Two hours ago, the Minister of Defense reported that the operations on the eastern and western bank of the Euphrates have been completed with the complete defeat of the terrorists,” Putin said.
He noted that there may still be isolated areas of resistance.
“But in general, the combat at this stage and in this territory is over. It is completely finished, I repeat, with victory over and defeat of the terrorists,” said the Russian president.
Putin added that all the participants in settling the Syrian issue together with the government of Syria, the countries of the region, and the UN, need to move “to the next stage - this is the political process, the beginning of the political process, the creation and implementation, as agreed in the trilateral meeting in Sochi by Iran and Turkey and the Syrian People’s Congress.”
During a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Sochi in November, Putin announced the speedy withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria.