MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. A section of Russia’s Sukhoi-24M bombers and a special purpose medical unit will return from the Hmeymim air base in Syria to Russia in the near future, the commander of Russia’s military group in Syria, Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov, said on Tuesday.
According to the current organizational structure of air units one section consists of four planes.
"In accordance with the decision made by the supreme commander-in-chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin the strength of our military group in Syria is being reduced. Preparations are underway for returning a section of Sukhoi-24 planes to Russia. The flight personnel and the special purpose medical unit will be back to their permanent location within days."
He recalled that the first to leave the conflict zone upon successful completion of their tasks were the ships of the Northern Fleet’s special task force, including the aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov and 40 deck aircraft. On January 6 the group began a voyage to its permanent base at Severomorsk. Also, the first group of six Sukhoi-24 bombers were returned to Russia from Hmeymim base.
Russia began to curtail its military presence in Syria after truce, guaranteed by Moscow and Ankara, took effect on December 30, 2016. The ceasefire agreement had been concluded by the Syrian authorities and several armed opposition groups. It does not apply to the terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra), outlawed in Russia.