The Russian Armed Forces in Syria may once again be led by Sergey Surovikin, who is currently the commander-in-chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, as reported by RIA Novosti with reference to a source close to the Defense Ministry.
According to the source, “this possibility is being discussed”. However, the source clarified that if Surovikin goes to Syria, he will remain the commander-in-chief of the Aerospace Forces, and he will fulfill the role of substitute only temporarily.
Surovikin headed the Russian forces in Syria in March 2017. On November 22 last year he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Aerospace Forces by presidential decree. At that stage he left the command in Syria, and was replaced by Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlev, who has remained the commander of the forces in Syria until now.
In December last year, Putin declared victory over the terrorists in Syria and gave the order to withdraw Russia’s troops. However, “a few Russian forces necessary to ensure stability in Syria” remained, the defense department noted.