BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 P.M.) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants have taken 700 people hostage in US-controlled part of Syria south of the Euphrates river, speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Thursday.
Putin said the IS militants have “issued ultimatums, specific demands and warned that if these ultimatums are not met they will execute 10 people every day. A day before yesterday they killed 10 people.”
He pointed out that the main goals of Russian military presence in Syria, fighting terrorism and preserving Syrian statehood, have been accomplished.
Commenting on the Idlib de-escalation zone, Putin said that “Not all heavy weapons are withdrawn, not all militants of terrorist groups, of ISIS, of Jabhat al-Nusra are withdrawn but Turkish partners do everything they can to implement their obligations.”
Russia and Turkey reached a deal on September 17 to create a demilitarised zone in the area, in an attempt to prevent a Syrian government offensive on Idlib, a major militant-held area in the country.
Under the deal, heavy weapons were to be removed by October 10, while radical fighters were set to leave by October 15.
Video credit: Ruptly