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Russian aircraft prepare to leave Syria for permanent deployment bases — defense ministry

March 15, 2016, 8:34 UTC+3

Putin and Assad have agreed on pullout of the major part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from the war-torn country

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© Vadim Savitsky/TASS

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in line with instruction of the president has ordered to relocate to Russia the main part of the grouping of the Russian Aerospace Forces implementing tasks of fighting against terrorists in Syria, the ministry’s press service has said. 

"Technical personnel of the air base have started preparing the aircraft for performing a distance flight to home airfields in the Russian Federation. The personnel are loading equipment, material and technical supplies and property to the aircraft of the military-transport aviation," the statement said.

Aircraft from the Hmeimim airbase in Syria will perform a flight to the permanent deployment bases in Russia and will be escorted by planes of the military-transport aviation. The jets will make stops at airfields in Russia for refueling and controlling the technical condition.

The Kremlin press service announced late on Monday that following a telephone conversation between Russian President Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad the two leaders agreed on pullout of the major part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from the war-torn country since "the Russian Armed Forces fulfilled the fundamental missions, which had been assigned to them."

Russia, however, will keep an air flights control center in Syria to monitor the observation of the ceasefire regime, the Kremlin said.

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