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YEKATERINBURG, October 22. /TASS/. The commander of Russia’s Central Military District, Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky has not been sent to Syria, contrary to previous reports by some media, and he is at his workplace in Yekaterinburg, the district’s press service said on Thursday.
Previously, some media reported that Zarudnitsky was involved in the military operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria.
"The commander of the Central Military District performs his duties at his workplace in Yekaterinburg," spokesman for the district Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin told TASS.
"On Friday, he will summarise the results of the Center-2015 strategic command post exercise and deliver a report," the official said. "The meeting will also be attended by the commanders of formations and military units of the district, representatives of three Russian federal districts and 29 constituent entities of the Russian Federation located in the Central Military District territory."
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes at facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria on September 30. The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM, Su-30SM fighters and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. Hundreds of terrorist facilities have been hit by Russian aircraft. On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army mounted a large-scale offensive. Russia does not plan to take part in ground combat operations in Syria.
More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four-and-a-half years of armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other - as well as jihadist militants from Islamic State.