“Operation aimed to withdraw insurgents from Aleppo is over, all conditions for the start of negotiations on complete ceasefire in Syria have been established,” stated Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergei Shoigu at the meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
Head of the military department noted that the operation was held under the order of the head of the Russian party in close cooperation with counterparts from Turkey and Iran. He also stated that almost 34,000 people, including women and children, have left the eastern areas of Aleppo in course of the large-scale humanitarian operation.
General of the Army Sergei Shoigu stressed that liberation of Eastern Aleppo was the second stage of the operation aimed to liberate the city from insurgents. In course of the first stage of the operation, 115 quarters have been liberated, almost 110,000 people have left the city, and 9,000 insurgents laid down their arms.
“Most of them have been granted amnesty in accordance to the decision of the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad,” explained the Defence Minister.
According to Sergei Shoigu, 7 guard posts have been controlling the highway for withdrawal of insurgents. Almost 300 buses and about 400 ambulance vehicles were concentrated on the highway.
Mine clearing has become the next stage of the operation. As the Defence Minister said, it was necessary to clear the territory, which had been mined by insurgents, in order to provide safety exit from the corridors.
The head of the Russian Defence Ministry said that civilians were returning to their houses but, unfortunately, humanitarian organizations remained reluctant to operate in Syria.
He also reported on execution of the President’s order within the agreement with leaders of Turkey and Iran on unblocking another 4 inhabited areas.
Sergei Shoigu explained that it referred to 2 Shiite inhabited areas near Idlib.
“More than 1,500 older persons, women, children and injured have been evacuated from there. They have been transported to Aleppo and accommodated in normal conditions,” stated Sergei Shoigu.
Moreover, another 2 inhabited areas near Damascus have been unblocked, said the Russian Defence Minister.
“In total, approximately 9,000 people have been evacuated from there to Idlib. Insurgents have turned in more than 9,000 small arms,” noted General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.
In his turn, Vladimir Putin stated that liberation of Aleppo was very important for normalization of situation in Syria and in the region itself.
Vladimir Putin asked General of the Army Sergei Shoigu to convey his best greetings and gratitude to the Russian military servicemen in Syria for their work.
Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin took part in the extended session of the Russian Defence Ministry Board
Today an extended session of the Russian Defence Ministry Board has been held in the National Centre for State Defence Control. The participants summed up the results of activities of the Russian Armed Forces in 2017 and defined the tasks for 2017.
The President of the Russian Federation – the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin made a speech at the session.
The head of state paid particular attention to the necessity of following all the changes in the balance of forces and in the world military and political situation, especially along the Russian borders, and to adjust timely the plans on neutralization of potential threats to the country.
The Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces demanded to focus on achieving the following key objectives next year: to ensure a balanced development of all branches and services of the armed forces, to strengthen the combat potential of the strategic nuclear forces, and to meet the schedule of rearmament of the Army and Navy.
Full statement of the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is on the website of the President of Russia.
The Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu gave a report on the Extended Board Session.
According to the head of the military department, this year has included a lot of large-scale events linked with security of the Russian Federation. Character and geography of challenges for the country has been extended, role of the military force in international relations has grown.
“Instead of joining efforts to fight the common evil, the NATO claimed Russia to be the main threat and continued building up its military potential near our borders,” stated General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.
As the Defence Minister said, the missile defence system of the United States in Europe has been put on a level of initial operational readiness. Its elements are being deployed in Japan as well as in South Korea in 2017.
The head of the military department elaborated on results of building-up of the Russian Armed Forces as well as the improvement of their quality condition.
Turning to the tasks, which had been assigned to the Russian Armed Forces before the start of the operation in Syria, the Minister of Defence stated that activities of the Russian Aerospace Forces turned the tide of fight against terrorism in this country.
In total, 12.360 square kilometers of the Syrian territory and 499 inhabited areas have been liberated from insurgents. The Russian aviation has performed 18,800 flights and carried out 71,000 strikes on terrorists’ infrastructure.
In conclusion, the head of the military department has assigned priority to the tasks to be implemented in 2017.
Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation