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You can thank Russia for wiping out ISIS in Syria, Defense Minister Shoigu insists on 5th anniversary of Moscow's intervention

You can thank Russia for wiping out ISIS in Syria, Defense Minister Shoigu insists on 5th anniversary of Moscow's intervention
Thanks to Russian forces, the Islamic State in Syria has been defeated, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who claimed that more than 133,000 terrorists have been killed in the country over the past five years.

Shoigu was writing in the Russian army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, on the 5th anniversary of Moscow’s military operation in the Levant. The minister believes that Russia helped preserve Syrian statehood, prevent the spread of terrorism to other countries, and ultimately defeated the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Syria.

READ MORE: US troops operating (illegally) in Syria tried to block Russian patrol despite being warned, Moscow says, after vehicles collide

“When discussing Syria, sometimes the question arises: did Russia do the right thing by taking on this difficult task?” Shoigu wrote. “But, every time, we can prove that the mission in Syria was not only the correct decision, but the only possible one.”

According to the minister, the Syrian Arab Armed Forces have liberated 1,024 cities with the aid of Russian air support, meaning that 88 percent of the country’s territory is now under the control of the government. He also noted that more than 133,000 militants were killed, including 4,500 from Russia and other allied Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

“The task set five years ago by the supreme commander-in-chief [President Vladimir Putin] has been fully completed. The international terrorist organization Islamic State has ceased to exist in Syria, and not a single terrorist entered Russia,” the minister wrote.

The Russian operation began on September 30, 2015, after Syrian President Bashar Assad requested military aid from the Kremlin, in a legal move. The international reaction to Russia’s intervention has been mixed, with countries close to the US, which illegally attacked Damascus, denouncing Moscow’s role and ultimately imposing sanctions.

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