MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is due on Thursday to thank personally the servicemen who took part in anti-terrorism operation in Syria, the Kremlin press service said.
The supreme commander-in-chief "will hand out state awards to servicemen and specialists of the military-industrial complex who distinguished themselves when fulfilling tasks in the Syrian Arab Republic," the statement said.
More than 700 soldiers and officers of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, Ground Forces, Navy and also representatives of the military-industrial complex have been invited for the ceremony to be held in the Georgievsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.
The operation in Syria lasted for five months and 14 days and involved Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Navy. Russia’s aviation carried out more than 7,200 sorties from the Hmeimim airbase near Latakia destroying over 12,700 facilities of gunmen.
The support of Russia’s Aerospace Forces helped Syria’s government troops to launch offensive in the provinces of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo. Thanks to Russian strikes, the terrorists lost half of profits from illegally extracted oil on the Syrian territory.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia’s forces have killed more than 2,000 gunmen in Syria who came from Russia, including 17 field commanders. Russia’s losses were three people, one aircraft and one helicopter.
President Putin ordered on Monday to start withdrawing the main part of Russia’s forces from Syria as of March 15. He said the tasks assigned to the military were generally fulfilled.
Russia began the anti-terror operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Two Russian facilities in Syria - Hmeimim and Tartus - will continue the effort to monitor ceasefire in coordination with foreign partners.