The number of terrorists in Syria and Iraq is currently about 60 thousand people, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the final board meeting of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
“The zone of influence of the Islamic State is expanding. Militants captured about 70% of the territory of Syria, and most areas of Iraq,” he said.
“There is a threat of transferring their operations to Central Asia and the Caucasus,” stressed the Minister.
According to Shoigu, Russian Air Force destroyed over 8,000 terrorist infrastructure objects in Syria. “In total, military aircraft carried out 4,000 flights, and destroyed over 8,000 military infrastructure objects of terrorists“, he said, stressing that the Islamic State experiences “significant damage”.
Earlier, the deputy head of the Ministry Anatoly Antonov said that 25-30 thousand foreigners fight among the militants of the Islamic State, including Russians. CIA estimated the headcount as about 30 thousand people, while the Iraqi government declared 200 thousand militants.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “to act ultimately tough” and destroy any targets that threaten Russian contingent in Syria. Although, he did not specify what kind of threats he meant.