HMEYMIM /Syria/, December 13. /TASS/. Russian army medics have begun returning home from Syria, TASS correspondent reported from the scene on Wednesday.
"We were prepared to stay here until January and had even brought a fir tree as we were going to see the New Year in here. We were told to go earlier and we are leaving," Commander of the Russian Armed Forces’ medical special purpose unit Denis Popov told reporters.
Over the last two years, Russian doctors have fulfilled their duty by providing treatment to the Syrians. The medics have helped to restore medical infrastructure, equipped hospitals and clinics with medicines as well as shared their expertise with Syrian doctors, trained and upgraded them. This assistance has allowed the Syrian doctors to begin providing medical help to the population by themselves.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that more than 200 army medics had been engaged since the start of Russia’s military operation in Syria and that they provided treatment to at least 66,000 Syrians.
On December 11, in his address to Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim air base Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military grouping to begin withdrawal from Syria after a crushing defeat of Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia). Nevertheless, two Russian military bases - Hmeymim and Tartous - will remain in Syria along with the Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria.