Putin frees Syria: the President has ordered to begin withdrawal of troops

The pilot of the Russian space forces at the airbase Hamim in the Syrian province of Latakia

Monday, March 14, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a meeting with defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave the order to begin withdrawal of the main forces of Russia from Syria. The withdrawal would begin on March 15. About this “Interfax” said a spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov.

The task is completed

“I think the tasks set before the Ministry of defence. Therefore, I order you tomorrow to start the withdrawal of the main part of our military groups of the Syrian Arab Republic”, — said Putin.

According to the President, the locations of the Russian armed forces in the port of Tartus and at the airbase Hamim “will operate in the former regime, they should be protected from land, sea and air”. Later the President’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that these two entities will play a role in monitoring the ceasefire.

After that, the Russian President called the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad and informed him of his decision. “Leaders noted that the actions of the aerospace defence forces of Russia has allowed to radically change the situation with the fight against terrorists, to disrupt the infrastructure of the militants, to cause them significant damage. The ceasefire has contributed to a sharp reduction in bloodshed in the country, the humanitarian situation”, — stated in the message of the Kremlin. Assad expressed his deep gratitude to Russia for large-scale assistance in the fight against terrorism.

The decision on the withdrawal of the main Russian forces from Syria, said Peskov, Putin did not discuss any of the world leaders, except for President Assad. On 14 March in Geneva was scheduled for the second round of peace talks on Syria, which was made possible thanks to the agreement on a ceasefire, initiated by Russia and the United States. It started to operate on February 27. Despite the fact that the parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the ceasefire in Syria has sharply reduced the number of armed clashes.

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The results of operations

According to Sergei Shoigu at the meeting with Putin, the Syrian troops liberated more than 400 settlements and over 10 thousand sq km of territory with the support of Russian aviation. In total since the end of September, the aircraft flew more than 9 million departures, strikes by precision weapons were drawn at a distance of more than 1.5 thousand km.

The head of the defense Ministry reported that the Russian air group destroyed more than 209 objects of oil extracting and refining, as well as over 2 thousand means of delivery of petroleum products. The Minister concluded that the Russian forces were able to completely stop the resource support for the militants. According to Shoigu, during the operation was destroyed several thousand insurgents — natives of Russia.

In Syria are the Russian airbase Hamim (Latakia) and the point of logistics ships in Tartus. Air group Air and space forces of Russia consists of more than 50 aircraft and helicopters. The protection of databases provides a reinforced battalion tactical group of soldiers of the 812 brigade of naval infantry black sea fleet, consisting of about 600 people.