Members of the Syrian government forces raise the victory gesture as they ride on a tank, in the village of Kobajjep on the southwestern outskirts of Deir al-Zour, on September 6, 2017, during the ongoing battle against Islamic State group jihadists. (AFP PHOTO)
MOSCOW, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Syrian government troops supported by Russian air force have inflicted a "crushing defeat" on Islamic States (IS) militants in eastern and central Syria in the last two weeks, the Russian military said Wednesday.
Syrian armed forces have cleared an area of 4,800 square km of militants, and knocked them out of 59 settlements, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Sergei Rudskoy told a news briefing.
After the Syrian city of Deir al-Zour was deblocked Tuesday, a column with humanitarian aid has entered the city, Rudskoy said.
In addition, the Syrian troops have completely liberated the town of Akerbat, a terrorist stronghold in the western-central province of Hama, he said.
In the last two weeks, Russian warplanes made 1,417 sorties, inflicting 2,687 strikes against IS command posts, camps and concentrations of militants, the Russian Armed Forces' group commander in Syria Sergei Surovikin noted at the briefing.
He said more than 1,200 IS fighters were killed in the operations masterminded by the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and the Syrian government troops command.
Russia has been participating in operations against the IS and other terrorist groups in Syria since September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.