Russia, Turkey report 14 ceasefire breaches in Syria per day

© Russian Defense Ministry/TASS

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russian servicemen have recorded seven ceasefire violations in Syria, another seven breaches have been recorded by Turkey, but they have not been confirmed by Russia, the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria said in its daily bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website.

“The Russian part of the joint Russian-Turkish commission in charge of issues related to violations of the comprehensive agreement has registered seven violations over the past 24 hours in the Hama (four) and Latakia (three) provinces,” the bulletin said. “The Turkish side has recorded seven violations in the provinces of Damascus, Hama and Aleppo.”

It noted though that Russia has not confirmed seven violations registered by Turkish representatives.

Over the past 24 hours, another populated locality, Rastin (Latakia province), has joined the reconciliation process. The number of inhabited localities that have joined the reconciliation process has climbed to 1,135, the Russian Reconciliation Center said.

As part of Russia’s humanitarian effort, 7.8 tonnes of humanitarian aid have been passed to civilians in the city of Aleppo, and 1.2 tonnes – in the Rastin populated locality (Latakia province). In addition to that, toys and children’s clothes have been handed over to civilians at the al-Zagra temporary accommodation facility in the city of Homs.

 

Russian Defense Ministry Says First Group of Sukhoi-24 Bombers Back to Russia from Syria

Russian Defense Ministry Says First Group of Sukhoi-24 Bombers Back to Russia from Syria

       Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the media on Thursday that the first group of six Sukhoi-24 bombers were relocated from the Hmeimim base in Syria to Russia and more aircraft will be back home soon.

“The first group of six Sukhoi-24 has been relocated from the Hmeimim base to Russia. The withdrawal of other aircraft and also flight and technical personnel is due in the near future,” Konashenkov said, TASS reported.

Four Russian Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes have been redeployed to Hmeimim air base in Syria in a planned rotation procedure.

The spokesman thus commented on the information reported by the US media that Russia was allegedly stepping up its military presence in Syria.

“Four S-25 attack planes fitted out with modern navigation systems and the sighting complex that flew from Russia, indeed, joined the Russian air task force at the Hmeimim air base in recent days,” the spokesman said.

“Attempts by some Western media to neglect some facts only to focus on others to make a fuss about an alleged ‘buildup of Russian presence in Syria’ are nothing but a primitive propaganda canard,” Konashenkov said.

He also recalled that the Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier-led task force has been on its way back to its Severomorsk base since January 6. The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has more than 40 aircraft on board.

Russian Fleet Leaving Mediterranean Sea Ready to Return to Syria’s Waters in Case of Emergency

Russian Fleet Leaving Mediterranean Sea Ready to Return to Syria's Waters in Case of Emergency

      Russian General Vyacheslav Bobov underlined on Tuesday that the Russian fleet of warships, including Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which are about to leave the Eastern waters of the Mediterranean Sea in coming weeks will be fully ready to return to Syria in case needed.

The Russian General warned that in case any incident arises to halt the diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the fighter jets on board and other accompanying warships will return to Syrian waters immediately.

Yet, he said Syria’s current situation allows the Russian fleet to return to its base back at home.

Bobov underscored that there is no plan for a complete withdrawal of the Russian military from Syrian, although the Russian military capability will be reduced now that some main objectives have been achieved in the war on terrorism.

Chief of the Russian Army General Staff Valery Gerasimov announced that Moscow has launched withdrawal operation of a part of its military forces and equipment from war-hit Syria.

“In accordance with the decision of Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces (President) Vladimir Putin, the Russian defense ministry is beginning the reduction of the armed deployment to Syria,” Gerasimov, said.

Gerasimov added that reduction of military forces in Syria will start with the withdrawal of the North Naval Group led by Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

Interfax reported for its part that Russian has decided to withdraw a number of its military planes, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) battle cruiser and logistic cruisers from Syria’s coasts.

Triumph in the Sky: Russia Blankets Syria With S-300, S-400 Air Defense Network

Russia deploys S-400 air defense missile system in Syria
      The Russian task force in Syria has created a unified air defense network using advanced S-300 and S-400 “Triumf” surface-to-air missile systems, which can reliably defend the nation against aerial attacks both on land and at sea, commander of the Russian military group in the country Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov said on Friday.
    “A unified air defense system that provides reliable protection both on land and at sea has been created jointly with Russian troops in Syria’s air defense forces using modern S-300 and S-400 systems,” he said.
      The commander added that close interoperability was established between the system set up by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the country’s own Bastion coastal defense systems.
     Russia deployed S-400 missile systems at its airbase in Syria in 2015 following the downing of a Russian Su-24 Fencer by a Turkish F-16 fighter on November 24.
   ‘In October 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry said a battery of S-300 air defense systems had been delivered to Syria to protect a naval facility in the port of Tartus as well as protect Russian warships deployed off the Syrian coast.
     Addressing the activity of the Russian naval group in Syria, the commander noted that all kinds of defense and joint-force team play were mastered during the use of planes from both the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and Hmeymim Airbase in Latakia.
     Earlier in the day, the General Staff announced the start of the reduction of the Russian group in Syria. The Admiral Kuznetsov is to depart for Russia later on Friday.
     Kartapolov declared that the naval group of the Northern Fleet had accomplished its combat tasks, having destroyed 1,252 terrorist targets in Syria over two months.
     Russia has been conducting a military operation against terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015, at the request of President Bashar Assad.

Russian naval aviation pilots destroyed over 1,200 terrorist facilities in Syria

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January 06, 12:55 UTC+3
“Over the two months of their participation in combat operations, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 sorties, including 117 in nighttime,” Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria said

MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. Russian naval aviation pilots have performed 420 sorties and destroyed 1,252 terrorist facilities over the two months of the aircraft carrier naval group’s participation in the Syria operation, Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said on Friday.

“Over the two months of their participation in combat operations, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 sorties, including 117 in nighttime. Actually all flights were performed in complex weather conditions. A total of 1,252 terrorist facilities have been destroyed,” he said.

The Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier naval task force comprising the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the large anti-submarine warfare ship Severomorsk, and also the Black Sea Fleet’s warships and support vessels has been accomplishing missions since November 8, 2016 to fight terrorists in Syria, he said.

“The strikes were delivered against infrastructure facilities, the amassments of militants and military hardware, fire emplacements and strongholds of illegal armed formations,” the commander said.

“The Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Grigorovich staying in the Mediterranean Sea delivered a missile strike on November 15, 2016 with Kalibr cruise missiles against facilities of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] on the territory of Syria. All the targets were destroyed,” he said.

The missions of delivering strikes against ground facilities directly from aboard warships were accomplished by deck-based aircraft for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy, the commander said.

Russia’s aircraft carrier naval group accomplished missions in Syria

The tasks of Russia’s aircraft carrier naval group in Syria have been accomplished, Kartapolov said.

“The tasks assigned to the aircraft carrier naval task force have been accomplished,” the general said.

The aircraft carrier’s naval group’s warships and vessels are fully provided with all material supplies and are technically fit, he said.

“The Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier naval group is ready for further operations,” Kartapolov said.

During its stay in Syrian waters, the Russian aircraft carrier naval group established close interaction with Russia’s air task force and Bastion coastal defense missile systems, he said.

“A unified air defense system has been created jointly with the resources and capabilities of the air defense system of the Russian grouping in Syria on the basis of modern S-300 and S-400 complexes to reliably protect facilities on the ground and at sea,” the commander said.

All types of defense, multi-service force interaction and comprehensive provision were practiced as Russia employed aircraft groups both from aboard the aircraft carrier and from the coastal aerodrome, he said.

 

Russia starts cutting grouping of forces in Syria

 

January 06, 12:09 updated at: January 06, 12:42 UTC+3
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group will be the first to leave the conflict area

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has starting cutting the grouping of forces in Syria in accordance with the decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov said on Friday.

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group will be the first to leave the conflict area, he said.

“In accordance with the decision by Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Defense Ministry is starting to downsize the grouping of the armed forces in Syria,” the chief of the General Staff said.

The warships of the Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier task force led by Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will be the first to leave the conflict area, he said.

The Admiral Kuznetsov carrier will begin Friday moving from the Mediterranean to Severomorsk in Russia’s northern Murmansk region, Gerasimov said.

“I would like to thank the staff of the aircraft carrier group for the success in implementing its tasks. I order the senior officer of the mission Vice-Admiral Viktor Sokolov to begin relocating the group today and move to the main fleet base of Severomorsk as per the plan approved earlier,” he said.

Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said the aircraft carrier naval group completed its tasks and it is ready for further operations.

 

US-led coalition targeted Syrian infrastructure but not IS oilfields – Russian general

 

January 04, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman thus commented on a statement by CIA Director John Brennan alleging that Russia was using a “scorched-earth policy” in Syria

MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. The US-led international coalition was bombing the entire Syrian infrastructure, except for oil extraction facilities seized by militants of the Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman thus commented on a statement by CIA Director John Brennan alleging that Russia was using a “scorched-earth policy” in Syria.

“Outgoing CIA Director Brennan knows well that long before the operation of the Russian air task force in Syria, the international coalition had been methodically and consistently destroying the entire economic infrastructure of Syria since 2012 to maximally weaken its legitimate government, in spite of all the ensuing hardships for civilians that resulted in the flows of millions of refugees. Surprisingly, the bombings by the United States and the coalition did not target oil extraction facilities already seized by the ISIL and allowing militants to earn tens of millions of US dollars monthly from the illegal sale of oil and use this money to recruit mercenaries from all over the world,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman also noted that US planes had used nuclear munitions in Japan in 1945, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Apart from that, the US military carried out Operation Ranch Hand in Laos and Vietnam in 1962-1971 with the use of chemicals, “which were really scorching everything alive there,” he said.

“Moreover, no one in the United States has been punished for this gravest war crime,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

“I also want to mention that the largest wars of the past few decades unleashed by the United States due to false CIA data in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya started, continued and ended everywhere with the destruction of these countries’ economic infrastructure by the US Air Force,” he added.

“And it is hardly accidental that major US companies close to the CIA and the Pentagon strangely turned out to be the first in the line for contracts for restoring the largest facilities of the economy and infrastructure,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The real results of Russia’s operation in Syria were outlined at a final board meeting of Russia’s Defense Ministry at the end of 2016, the spokesman said.

Thus, it was with the assistance of the Russian air task force that the Syrian government troops liberated over 12,000 sq. km. of the Syrian territory, 499 communities and eliminated 35,000 militants, including 204 field commanders, the general said.

“But the main result is that it has become possible without the incumbent US administration and, to be more exact, without the CIA, to conclude for the first time jointly with Iran and Turkey an agreement with the Syrian opposition on the ceasefire that has come into force from December 30 and on preparations for negotiations in Astana on settling the Syrian conflict,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.