Russian Defense Minister says ‘civil war in Syria has effectively ended’
In a meeting with his Lebanese colleague Ya’qub as-Sarraf, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that the civil war in Syria has ended, Interfax reports.
“In Syria, having separated the ones from the others [opposition from terrorists], we have managed to create four de-escalation zones, and to effectively stop the civil war,” Shoygu noted.
He added that the Russian military “is satisfied to watch Lebanon’s successes in the north-east of the country” in the fight against the terrorist organizations Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.
Earlier in August, Shoygu said that in the last two months the territory controlled by Damascus has grown 2.5 times. The Defense Minister called this a “serious success”. He explained that since the start of the operation, there have been two wars taking place in parallel, “one war with terrorists, another civil war, a war of the opposition against the government,” Shoygu observed.
According to him, Russia needed to separate the terrorist organization militants from the Syrian opposition, in order to “understand where to strike”.
The civil war in Syria has lasted since March 2011. According to human rights activists’ estimates, the conflict has claimed roughly 475,000 victims. More than 5.1 million Syrians have become refugees.
In several regions of south-western Syria, a ceasefire regime has been coordinated by the US, Russia and Jordan, and came into effect on July 9. However, the Syrian army continues to attack the positions of the moderate opposition. In this way, Assad’s forces fired rockets at a suburb of Damascus, injuring 19 people.