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29 Apr, 2016 06:41

Syrian Army planning offensive on ISIS ‘capital’ Raqqa aided by Russian jets

The Syrian Army plans to launch an attack on Islamic State’s de facto capital Raqqa and its other stronghold of Deir ez-Zor with the help of Russian air support. The announcement was made Russia's envoy to the UN Office in Geneva Aleksey Borodavkin.

Borodavkin, who is also the permanent representative to other international organizations in Geneva, said it is imperative that the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist groups, such as Al-Nusra Front continues. 

“This is what the Syrian Army is doing with support from the Russian Air Force. As a result of these actions, Palmyra has been recaptured and now they are planning to launch an operation towards Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa. Fighting is taking place against groups like Al-Nusra Front in Aleppo and a few other places,” Borodavkin said, as cited by RIA. 

Deir ee-Zor is located in the north east of Syria and has been under IS control for months. It is an important location for the terrorist organization, due to the number of oil fields in its vicinity.

In January, the Russian Defense Ministry said that around 2,000 IS fighters had been deployed to the area, due to its important strategic location, citing data received from Syrian opposition.

The Russian Air Force has carried out a number of sorties in the Deir ez-Zor region, with all jihadist targets, which had been reconfirmed via a number of channels, as well as through drone surveillance and cooperation with the Syrian opposition, being successfully hit.