The Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday that Russian air strikes in Syria have killed 35,000 opposition fighters and have succeeded in halting a series of revolutions in the Middle East.
During a meeting in which senior leaders in the Russian army reviewed Russian military achievements, Shoigu said that Moscow’s intervention has prevented the collapse of the Syrian state. The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence in Moscow, and the Russian President Vladimir Putin said during it that “We are now stronger than any potential aggressor”.
Shoigu said that Russian warplanes carried out 18,800 sorties in Syria since the start of the Kremlin’s operation there last year, and this has resulted in the destruction of 725 training camps and 405 sites where weapons were being manufactured. In addition to this, 35,000 fighters were killed.
‘The chain of ‘colour revolutions’ spreading across the Middle East and Africa has been broken,’ Shoigu said.
Russia’s intervention in Syria is widely seen as having saved President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces from defeat and as being crucial to their retaking full control of Aleppo.
In a related matter, the Russian Defence Ministry expressed its satisfaction with regards to cooperation with the United States on an agreement to prevent accidents taking place in Syrian airspace. The Russian Defence Ministry’s press service told TASS on Wednesday that “On December 21, via a regular video conference, experts of Russian and US defence agencies discussed implementation of the memorandum of understanding on air safety aimed at minimising the risks of in-flight incidents among coalition and Russian warplanes operating in Syria”. The ministry also “noted the effectiveness of the cooperation of Russian Aerospace Defence Force and the US-led coalition’s Air Forces so as to avoid incidents while fulfilling the tasks of civilians and militants’ evacuation from eastern Aleppo along agreed corridors.”
During the conference, the Russian and the American sides emphasised that “accumulated experiences should be taken into account in the further work with the new US administration as well as in the transitional period.” According to the Russian Defence Ministry, they also discussed a list of possible supplements to the memorandum of understanding.