Russian Federation to withdraw armed forces from Syria starting with aircraft carrier group
Jan 07 2017
Russia's Ministry of Defense on Friday said it began to withdraw some forces from Syria, including its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, following a cease-fire in the conflict.
Russian Federation says it is beginning to draw down its forces fighting in Syria's war.
Russian Federation has carried out air strikes on anti-government rebels since 2015.
Gerasimov added that the first to leave will be Admiral Kuznetsov's aircraft carrier naval group. A month later, it carried out its first combat mission in the Mediterranean.
Kartapolov said Russian Federation still had sufficient air defence capabilities in Syria thanks to its S-300 and S-400 systems deployed in the war-torn country.
The aircraft carrier will start moving Friday back toward Russia, Tass reports.
The Syrian army praised Russia's role in helping achieve what appears to be a holding ceasefire.
The agreement forms part of the terms of a ceasefire deal between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government.
Moscow has supported government troops of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war, and allowed Assad's forces to retake Aleppo in December, paving the way for a ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russian Federation. The intra-Syrian peace talks were supposed to take place in February 2016, but were suspended two days after kicking off.
Russian Federation and Turkey have backed opposing sides in Syria, with Moscow supporting President Bashar al-Assad while Ankara backs rebels fighting to oust him.
Russia's support, with airstrikes and military advisers - along with the boosting of its arsenal and a naval base on the Syrian coast - changed the course of the civil war, now in its sixth year, in favour of Assad.
He did not give further details on the force reduction, which follows an order by Putin on December 29.