HMEYMIM, December 11. /TASS/. Russian servicemen have provided medical help to 57,000 Syrians during the military operation there, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Russian leader’s visit to the Hmeymim air base. Putin asked Shoigu how many Syrian citizens received medical treatment, and Shoigu answered that their number exceeds 57,000 people.
The Russian leader also stated that producers of military equipment should know how it will operate in combat conditions, including in Syria. "It is very important that they [the military equipment producers] knew how it operates in combat conditions," he said at a meeting with Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim air base. "Drills and so-called ‘home’ events are one thing, and combat conditions are quite another thing. This does matter." The head of state asked the pilots how the equipment is functioning. "Correctly," the meeting participants answered.
Addressing the Russian military, Putin noted, "As we said before, you will certainly be able to confirm that participation in military action boosts the professional level. Officer of the Special Operations Force, Captain Andrey Medvedev reported to the president about the operation in which about 50 terrorists were destroyed. This operation helped press the advance of the Syrian government forces, he said. Military police officer, Major Yusup Mamatov reported that his unit had been blown up by terrorists. Engineer Force serviceman, Sergeant Artyom Rubanov told about clearing of a well in the historic part of Palmyra from explosives. Putin wished godspeed to the servicemen who are returning to Russia on Monday. He also congratulated the soldiers and their families on the coming New Year.
The meeting was attended by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, commander of the Russian force in Syria Sergey Surovikin and Syrian general Suheil al-Hassan. Among the servicemen who took part in the meeting were sergeants, junior officers, generals and representatives of pilots, medics, combat engineers, military policemen and Special Operation Force officers.
Putin told General Suheil al-Hassan, "We’ve talked to President Assad, and your counterparts said that you and your servicemen are fighting very resolutely and productively." Bashar al-Assad also highly praised the general’s performance. Putin wished Suheil to see his family whom he has not seen for long as soon as possible. Suheil thanked the Russian president and said that he will do it after a complete victory over the terrorists.