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A still image taken from a video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on June 23, 2017, shows a missile being fired from a Russian warship to hit, according to the Russian Defence Ministry, Islamic State targets in Syria's Hama province, from the Mediterranean sea. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS TV


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian government forces have to date cleared 85 percent of the country's area from militants, Russian news agencies cited Alexander Lapin, the head of the Russian troops' headquarters in Syria, as saying on Tuesday.

Islamic State fighters are still in control of around 27,000 square km of Syria's territory, he said.

(Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Katya Golubkova)

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