A members of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk inside a prison built by Daesh fighters at the stadium that was the site of Daesh fighters' last stand in the city of Raqqa, Syria, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. (Photo/Asmaa Waguih)
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After losing major strongholds and key urban areas across Syria, including its self-proclaimed capital, the city of Raqqa, Daesh (ISIS) now controls only 5 percent of the country's territory, according to Russia's defense minister.Speaking at a conference in the Philippines, Shoigu said on Monday that "terrorists" -- a term the Syrian government and its allies use for all armed opposition, including militant groups such as Daesh and al-Qaida's Syria affiliate -- controlled more than 70 percent of the country before Russia launched its air operation at the end of 2015 to support President Bashar Assad's offensive against Daesh militants and opposition forces.On Tuesday, Syria's state news agency SANA said government forces captured several points inside the town of Mehkan just south of Mayadeen, the Daesh stronghold that Syrian troops captured earlier this month.Last year, the U.S.-led coalition bombed Syrian army positions near the city of Deir el-Zour, killing at least 62 Syrian soldiers and leaving more than a 100 wounded.
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