In total, some 3,000 combatants and supporters of the ISIS terrorist group are in Syrian territory, the Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Security Council Guennadi Kuzmin said to the UN United Nations.
“Currently the total number of ISIS fighters and supporters in Syria totals about 3,000 people,” Kuzmín said.
Syria has been experiencing a conflict since March 2011 in which government forces face jihadist factions and terrorist organizations.
In December 2017, Russia announced the final defeat of ISIS in the Arab country.
In some areas, the neutralization of the latest sources of resistance in Syria continues, but the immediate objectives are political settlement, reconstruction of the country and the return of refugees.
Since 2014, the US and several countries in its orbit carry out an operation against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Coalition forces operate in Syria without the authorization of the Government of Damascus.
In December 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
Later, the White House said that the withdrawal of US troops did not mean the end of the international anti-terrorist coalition’s mission.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch an attack on the east side of the Euphrates River to eradicate Kurdish militias called Popular Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, which Ankara considers a threat.
Turkey considers the YPG an ally of the illegal rebel Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency for decades against the Turkish government.
Neither Russia nor Iran agree with Turkey’s position of separating jihadists into ‘good and bad’, because for these countries ‘the best jihadist is the dead jihadist’. According to Fox News, Vladimir Putin stressed the need for “the total annihilation of terrorists in Syria” for Damascus to resume its national territory while Iranian President Hasan Rohani considered a counterintelligence operation to “clean Idlib from terrorists” as inevitable.