Mission in Syria 'accomplished'


He said "there is no area under IS control in Syria", but the group is believed to still maintain a presence in some scattered areas. The Russian military said "not a single village" remains in IS control.

Russian Federation has declared "mission accomplished" in Syria, saying the country has been "completely liberated" from Islamic State jihadists - a claim rejected by the United States.

Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov meanwhile told foreign military attaches that "all IS gangs on the territory of Syria have been destroyed and its territory has been freed".

This verified image made from amateur video shows an explosion in the village of Kfar Derian, Syria.

The general also said that Russian forces had in recent days been fighting alongside Kurdish forces near the Syria-Iraq border.

Rudskoi's comments followed an earlier statement from Putin, who said: "Operations on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates have ended with the terrorists' complete defeat".

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, yesterday said that IS still holds about eight percent of Deir Ezzor province.

The US defense department also said it would resume its airstrikes against the group.

Rudskoi said "separate sabotage bands of ISIL" could still be operating but would be fought by Syrian government troops, indicating that Russia's involvement would be scaled down.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on Sunday thanked both the USA and Russian Federation for their military support, days after the United States announced it would stop arming the group.

Iran plans to remain in Syria once the war ends to consolidate its expansion across the Middle East, preferably with Bashar al-Assad as a puppet president.