After the completion of the main phase of the military operation in Syria, Russia will not reduce its military presence there, stated in Moscow on Tuesday, October 17, the first deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich.
“We will have a military base there, and there is hardly any need for a reduction. There are 34 aircraft, there is no sense in removing them,” he said.
On October 16, during the meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Tel Aviv, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that the operation in Syria is coming to an end.
The Russian military operation in Syria began on September 30, 2015. Russian air force provides support for ground operations of the Syrian army and it has been reported that Russian special forces are taking part in the operation on the ground. In Syria, Russia uses the Khmeimim Air Base and a naval base in Tartus.
According to Reuters, since the beginning of 2017, at least 40 Russian soldiers and mercenaries have been killed in Syria. This is four times higher than the official Moscow data, which confirms the death of only 10 Russians. The news agency says that from the fall of 2015 to the end of 2016, 36 Russians were killed in Syria, while the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledges the death of 23 servicemen.