A former senior Russian official who recently met Bashar Assad said the Syrian president told him the "active phase" of the military conflict in Syria will be over this year but that the government would continue to fight "terrorists", state-run Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported on Monday.
"To my question about how military issues were going, this is what Assad said: 'This year the active phase of military action in Syria will be ended. After that we will have to shift to what we have been doing all the time - fighting terrorists'," Itar-Tass quoted Sergei Stepashin as saying.
Meanwhile, a top commander of the militant Free Syrian army group along with more than fifty other militants were killed in a Syrian army ambush in Syria’s Homs.
Abdulqader al-Jumaa, head of an FSA branch operating in Homs’s Joret al-Shayyah region was killed on Sunday, Al-Alam reporter in Syria said.
Another 30 militants have also been killed in an explosion in Homs, which was caused after the station where the armed groups were preparing car bombs was targeted.
In another development, the extremist group of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has criticized al-Qaeda’s leader Aymen Zawahiri of betraying Osama bin Laden, slain leader of the terrorist group.
The ISIL has issued a statement in one of its affiliated websites in which they slammed Zawahiri for tasking his followers to find those responsible for the killing of, Abu Khalid Suri who is said to have been killed by in Syria.
On Sunday Zawahiri praised Suri and his role in the group and asked his followers to go and find those responsible for his death.
Suri was the representative of Zawahri in Syria and was working to end rifts between al-Qaeda affiliated groups. He was also a co-founder of the al-Qaeda affiliated group of Ahrar al-Sham.
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