(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday a complete victory had been achieved over Islamic State militants on both banks of the Euphrates river in Syria.
In comments released by the Kremlin, Putin said the military operation in the area was now finished, and that the focus would switch to a political process that would eventually involve presidential and parliamentary elections.
Putin did not specify whether he was referring to the end of military operations in the whole of Syria, or just the areas around the Euphrates valley.
Russia's military intervention in Syria's civil war in 2015 has turned the tide of the conflict in favor of Moscow's ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and against rebel groups fighting to oust him.