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Russian de-miners return from Syria

Vladimir Putin on December 11 issued order to pull out the Russian military group from Syria

NAKHABINO /Moscow region/, December 12./TASS/. A team of de-miners from the Russian Armed Forces’ International Anti-Mine Center has returned from Syria to their home base in Nakhabino, the Moscow region, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The specialists received a hero’s welcome. Taking part in a homecoming ceremony were top officials from the Russian Defense Ministry and the Engineering Corps, young patriots, veterans, colleagues and de-miners’ families, the press service said.

 Russian Army engineers who took part in the mine-clearing operation in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, did not lose a single serviceman, Major-General Konstantin Smeshko, a Deputy Chief of the Russian Corps of Engineers said on Tuesday.

"The servicemen have returned home without losing a single man," he said at a ceremony of welcoming the returning engineers in the town of Nakhabino near Moscow.

He described the engineers’ activity in Deir ez-Zor as a "unique operation of humanitarian mine-clearing".

Ten servicemen from the International Anti-Mine Center received state awards at the ceremony.

On Monday, December 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Hmeymim airbase in Syria where he said that the most combat worthy group of international terrorists had been crushed and ordered to begin withdrawal of most of the Russian contingent from Syria. He stressed that Russia’s assistance had helped preserve Syria as sovereign state and create conditions for United Nations-mediated political settlement.

The president said that in conformity with the international agreements the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties would continue to operate in Syria. Apart from that, Russia will maintain two bases in Syria: in Tartus and in Hmeymim.