DAMASCUS – The US is training a large armed group of terrorists in Syria, said Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the Operational Directorate-General of the Russian Armed Forces.
According to the chief operating officer, some of the combatants trained in the US- controlled Syrian Al-Tanf zone are being transferred in US Air Force helicopters to the Euphrates region.
The best trained saboteurs are sent to areas controlled by the Syrian government to destabilize the situation.
“Their mission is to sabotage, destroy the oil and gas infrastructure and carry out terrorist actions against government units. The presence of such groups is noted in the As-Suwayda, Palmira and Al-Bukamal areas,” said Rudskoy.
Secret transfer of terrorists
Russian intelligence has also revealed information about the secret transfer and concentration of fighters in the southwest part of Syria’s ceasefire Idlib, and preparations are being made for an offensive.
“Intelligence is currently recording the covert transfer and concentration of fighters in the southwest part of the ceasefire zone. At least 500 terrorists from Tahrir al-Sham have been relocated from the northern parts of Idlib province. Preparations are being made for an offensive, “said Rudskoy.
In addition, according to the chief operating officer, the number of foreign-made weapons, including multiple rocket launchers, in the hands of terrorists is also increasing.
“In cooperation with our Turkish colleagues, we are taking steps to identify and eliminate terrorist equipment , weapons and ammunition depots,” he added.
This comes as two weeks ago in the Syrian province of Daraa, militants detonated a bomb on the route of a patrol of the Russian military police, the high command said.
Militants from Syria’s Daraa province carried out a bomb attack on the Russian military police patrol route on Saturday, said Maj. Gen. Aleksey Bakin, head of the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation. There were no casualties among Russian troops as a result of the attack, he added.
“A remote-controlled makeshift explosive exploded on July 13, 2019, on the route of patrols of the Russian Armed Forces military police in the Syrian Arab Republic of Daraa province,” Bakin told a news conference.
The attack came a day after another incident, when Russian air defenses at Hmeymim air base shot down three drones launched by militants operating in Idlib security zone.
Since late April, the United Nations has recorded 29 attacks on civilian facilities in northwestern Syria – including 25 in medical clinics – and 45 attacks on schools, with more than 300 civilians killed.
In September 2018, during negotiations in the Russian city of Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan established a demilitarized zone in Idlib along the line between the armed opposition and government forces.
The northwestern Idlib province is home to several groups, including the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front and the terrorist group Al-Nusra Front. It is estimated that 30,000 militants, including foreign mercenary fighters, are currently operating in the region.