14 Dec 2017 13:45

Medical team returns to Krasnodar from Syria

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) - The 32nd Separate Medical Team has returned to the Krasnodar Territory from Syria, Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev wrote on Twitter.

"Our doctors, the 32nd Separate Medical Team, are back from Syria. They were fulfilling their duty, treating and saving the lives of soldiers and civilians under the harsh conditions of war. I am pleased to shake hands with these heroes. Welcome home," Kondratyev wrote.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Thursday that Sukhoi Su-34 bombers and the hardware of Russian sappers, including armored personnel carriers and robotic systems, had been withdrawn from Syria.

On Wednesday, the ministry reported the return of Mikoyan MiG-29SMT fighters from Syria. The planes landed at their permanent base in the Astrakhan region. The newspaper Kommersant said in September 2017 that four Mi-29SMT jets had been deployed to Syria.

Earlier this week, Russia pulled a military police battalion, a sapper team, and a Beriyev A-50 early-warning and control aircraft out of Syria.

Tupolev Tu-22M3 planes have been relocated from an operative airfield in North Ossetia to the Kaluga, Murmansk, and Irkutsk regions. Those planes used to take off from Mozdok for massive airstrikes on militants in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Hmeimim Airbase on Monday that the Russian contingent in Syria would be significantly reduced.

The commander of the Russian contingent in Syria, Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin, told Putin that 23 planes, two Kamov Ka-52 helicopters, and a number of units would leave Syria.

According to Kommersant, over 20 planes will be moved from Syria to their permanent bases by the end of this week. Several dozen planes were stationed in Syria until lately, including Su-25SM attack planes, Su-24M and Su-34 frontline bombers, MiG-29SMT, Su-30SM, and Su-35 fighters, and Ka-52, Mi-35M, and Mi-24P combat helicopters.

Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov said on November 23 in response to a question from Interfax that the reduced contingent in Syria would include the reconciliation center, two bases, and "a number of units necessary for maintaining the current state of affairs."

Russia launched its military campaign in Syria on September 30, 2015. The Aerospace Forces support the ground operations of the Syrian army. Russia has an airbase in Hmeimim and a naval base in Tartus. Special-operations forces of the Russian Defense Ministry are active in Syria.