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Syria: First Russian jets fly home from Latakia as military withdrawal begins01:11

Syria: First Russian jets fly home from Latakia as military withdrawal begins

Syrian Arab Republic, Latakia
March 15, 2016 at 10:24 GMT +00:00 · Published

The first Russian planes took off from Hmeymim airbase in Latakia, Tuesday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria. Tupolev Tu-154 and Sukhoi Su-34 jet aircraft were among the first jets to leave the airbase, bound for Russia.

The Defence ministry reported that the long-distance flights will be carried out in groups. Each group includes a 'leader' - military transport aircraft (Tu-154 or IL-76) which will transport engineers, technicians as well as aviation and logistical assets. They will be followed by Russian military aircrafts of various types.

On Monday, Putin stated that "the objectives that have been set for the Defence Ministry have generally been accomplished. That is why I order the start of the withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow" during the meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province and the naval base at Tartus in order to oversee the ceasefire in the region, Putin added.

The Russian Air Force began its operations in Syria on September 30 in 2015. Russian jets have been launching air strikes on strategic and economic targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other militant targets in Syria.

Syria: First Russian jets fly home from Latakia as military withdrawal begins01:11
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The first Russian planes took off from Hmeymim airbase in Latakia, Tuesday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria. Tupolev Tu-154 and Sukhoi Su-34 jet aircraft were among the first jets to leave the airbase, bound for Russia.

The Defence ministry reported that the long-distance flights will be carried out in groups. Each group includes a 'leader' - military transport aircraft (Tu-154 or IL-76) which will transport engineers, technicians as well as aviation and logistical assets. They will be followed by Russian military aircrafts of various types.

On Monday, Putin stated that "the objectives that have been set for the Defence Ministry have generally been accomplished. That is why I order the start of the withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow" during the meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province and the naval base at Tartus in order to oversee the ceasefire in the region, Putin added.

The Russian Air Force began its operations in Syria on September 30 in 2015. Russian jets have been launching air strikes on strategic and economic targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other militant targets in Syria.

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