Shoygu: Russia began forming permanent contingent in Syria’s Tartus and Hmeimim military bases

Russia has begun establishing a permanent contingent in Syria’s Tartus and Hmeimim military bases, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu during a conference call on Tuesday.

“Last week, the supreme commander-in-chief [Putin] approved the structure and staff of the main bases in Tartus and Hmeimim. We have started establishing a permanent group there,” Shoygu stated.

According to Shoygu, 59.5% of Russian troops in Syria are equipped with modern weapons and the combat readiness of all the weapons is at 94%. The air defense of the Hmeimim airbase is provided by S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. The S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and Bastion coastal missile systems protect the Russian Navy base in Tartus.

Earlier, Shoygu stated that the Russian military had already begun the withdrawal from Syria. However, according to him, the withdrawal would depend on the the situation on the ground.

On December 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s paid a surprise visit to the Hmeimim airbase and ordered the withdrawal of Russian military from Syria. It was reported that Russia would keep its Hmeimim and Tartus military bases.

  Shoygu, Syria, Russia, Tartus, Hmeimim


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