Russia’s ambassador to Syria, Aleksandr Kinshak, has announced that the complete liquidation of terrorist forces in the south of the Arab country should be complete within a few days.
“The anti-terrorist operation in the south of the country which started last month, has been developing successfully, and is near the end; its goal of eliminating terrorist organizations is a matter of weeks or even days, because everything is evolving very fast. At this rate, Syria will be liberated in the near future,” said Kinshak.
The diplomat also said that Russia and the United States could cooperate in Syria after the conflict ends.
“This [return to peace] will require a complex reconstruction of the entire Syrian economy after the conflict, as well as the social sector. The Syrian government is taking care of this… but this is just a drop in the ocean. And the US, if they enter into an agreement, can do a lot,” the ambassador said in an interview with Rossiya 24.
Although the ambassador suggested the possibility that this operation will end in a few days, this remains highly unlikely, as considerable swathes of territory held by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front and ISIS still need to be liberated by the Syrian Army.
Although operations to clear southern Syria of terrorist organizations began only last month, the overwhelming majority of this region has been liberated thanks to powerful efforts by the Syrian military and the Russian air force. However, many towns and villages have been liberated not only through military means, but also because these settlements opted to reconcile with the government rather than fight.
This has been the method preferred by the Syrian government to limit bloodshed. However, it is unlikely that ISIS or Al-Nusra will want to reconcile, meaning that the battle for southern Syria will take many more weeks before coming to a conclusion. It is expected that the Syrian Army will then focus their efforts on jihadist-held Idlib province in northwest Syria.