The Russian military is maintaining logistics support for a humanitarian operation in Syria aimed to provide the civilian population with basic needs. International humanitarian missions have so far been providing aid to regions which remain under terrorist control. Although a number of non-governmental organizations have been providing humanitarian aid on Syrian territory, most of the supplies sent have ended up on territories controlled by terrorists. “The extremists used most of that aid for the supply of [terrorist] gangs,” Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff, said during a press briefing in Moscow. “On top of that, multiple attempts have been registered to deliver arms and munitions, and to evacuate wounded militants under the guise of humanitarian convoys,” Rudskoy stressed. According to the general, these issues with the foreign aid sent so far have led to Russia taking the decision to launch a humanitarian operation of its own in Syria. A Syrian Ilyushin Il-76 jumbo jet has already delivered the first batch of humanitarian aid to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, Rudskoy said. At present, most of the aid is being channeled to Deir ez-Zor, which was under siege by terrorists for a long period of time, Rudskoy said. The first 22 tons of humanitarian aid have been airdropped from a Syrian Il-76 using Russian parachute platform airdrop systems. Supplies are set to continue, Rudskoy said, stressing that Russia will provide the Syrian people with all possible help to liberate the country from extremists and return peace to the nation. At the same briefing, Rudskoy announced that up to 10,500 fighters of the democratic Syrian opposition have joined with government forces to oust Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists from Syrian territory. The armed opposition forces are playing “an increasing role” in the fight against terrorism, he said.