A Russian military spokesman revealed moderate forces had made “significant progress” inISIS-controlled areas as Putin prepares to intensify his country’s air strikes on the terrorists.
Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy, the head of the Russian General Staff’s operations department, revealed airstrikes had destroyed 556 militant targets in 164 combat sorties since Christmas.
He said: “The troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces with the support of the Russian Air Force conducted an offensive toward the ISIS capital, Raqqa.
“As a result of this offensive, approximately 20 residential areas were liberated from extremists.
“Strategic control was established over the important dam on the river Euphrates at al-Ahmar.”
Russian warplanes have also stepped up the intensity of their strikes over the past week “in the interests of the offensive being carried out by the Syrian army and patriotic forces’ armed units fighting ISIS”.
Lieutenant Rudskoy noted that Russia was successfully building a strong local opposition to fight occupation by ISIS – also known as Daesh.
The Syrian Democratic Force was established in October in an attempt to unite Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, and Turkmen militias.
He said: “The strategy chosen by us and aimed at the blocking terrorist financial channels, and attracting the patriotic opposition to the fight against terrorists, is showing results.
“We intend to continue our work aimed at the unification