HMEYMIM, December 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the Defense Ministry to start the pullout of the Russian military group from Syria.
"I order the Defense Ministry and the chief of the General Staff to begin the pullout of the Russian military group to permanent locations," Putin told an audience of military personnel.
Russia’s task force and the Syrian government troops have routed the grouping of international terrorists in Syria, according to Putin.
Putin made this statement while speaking before Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
"Over slightly more than two years, the Russian Armed Forces have routed together with the Syrian army the most combat-capable grouping of international terrorists," Putin said.
"In view of this, I have made a decision: most of the Russian military contingent staying in the Syrian Arab Republic is returning home, to Russia," he said.
"You are coming home with a victory, to your relatives, parents, wives, children and friends. Your Motherland is waiting for you, my friends. Have a safe trip home and thank you for your service," Putin said.
Russia is ready to deal a new blow to terrorists if they again try to break peace in Syria, Putin said.
"If terrorists again raise head, we will deliver such strikes on them that they haven’t seen so far," Putin told the Russian military.
"We will never forget about the deaths and losses sustained in the anti-terror fight both here in Syria and in Russia," Putin stressed.
"But this won’t force us to fold our hands and retreat. This is not our national characteristic. On the contrary, this memory will give us an additional force to eradicate that absolute evil - international terrorism - no matter under what guise it hides," he said.
Putin has congratulated troops deployed to Russia’s Hmeymim air base on brilliantly achieving the task of defeating terrorists in Syria.
"Indeed, the global terrorism threat is still high but the task of fighting armed groups here in Syria - a task which involved the extensive use of armed force - has been achieved for the most part, and achieved brilliantly," he noted.
"You have brilliantly achieved the task of fighting militants here in Syria, a task which involved large-scale use of troops," Putin said addressing the troops. "I would like to congratulate you," the Russian president added.
"Our troops and defense companies have proved the growing power of the Russian Army and Navy, the high combat capabilities of our military units. Pilots, navy sailors, special operations and intelligence units, members of military administration bodies, supply agencies and medical services, as well as de-miners and military advisors, have acted in the best way, like the Russian military always does, demonstrating courage, coherence, determination, excellent skills and professionalism," Putin stated.
Putin stressed that protecting the country and its people was the major task of every military serviceman. "This is what military service is about, this is the main priority of those who dedicate their lives to serving their people," he noted. "Soldiers who serve their country pass the most important test at the battlefield, risking their health and life." According to Putin, this is what the Russian military has been doing in Syria. "By helping the Syrian people preserve their statehood and counter terrorist attacks, you have dealt a devastating blow to those who had openly and brazenly threatened our country," the Russian president stressed.
"The country is proud of you," he said, addressing the troops. "I am confident that you will continue to faithfully serve the country, protecting the national interests of the country and its citizens," the Russian leader said.