“Today, the Syrian Armed Forces began a large-scale defensive with the goal of destroying terrorist groups and freeing regions and populated areas that have suffered from terror and crimes. The government forces have been keeping the initiative for several years and assembling manpower. One of the key striking forces of the offensive has become the Fourth Assault Corp,” said General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, Head of the Syrian General Staff.

It was reported earlier that Bashar Asad’s troops conducted ground operations with aerial support provided by the Russian Air Force. According to the US State Department, more than 90% of the Russian airstrikes were not launched against Isil or al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists but rather targeted Syrian opposition groups, UNIAN reports.