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Russia to complete pullout of basic contingent from Syria within 2-3 days — commander

500-700 servicemen will receive state decorations for Russia's Syria operation

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. The withdrawal of the basic contingent of the Russian air task force from Syria will be completed in the coming days, Russia’s Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Thursday.

"I believe this matter will be finished quickly, strictly within the timeframe defined by the supreme commander-in-chief and the defense minister. Today or tomorrow. We’ll accomplish the assigned mission within two-three days," Bondarev said.

As the Russian Aerospace Force commander said, 242 servicemen have already been awarded state decorations for the Syria operation. Overall, 500-700 servicemen will receive state decorations. Many pilots will be promoted to higher military ranks, the commander said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered on Monday to start pulling out the basic contingent of the Russian air task force from Syria as of March 15.

As the Russian leader said, the missions assigned to the military "have been accomplished as a whole."

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said that the fight against terrorist groupings in Syria, to which the ceasefire regime is not applicable, will be continued. Two Russian facilities - the Hmeimim air base and the Tartus naval facility - will continue operating in Syria.