Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Syrian Arab Republic.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Please.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Comrade Supreme Commander-in-Chief,
Your order to withdraw Russian forces from the Syrian Arab Republic has been fulfilled. Air force units, specialists of the International Mine Action Centre, military medics, a combined medical detachment, military police battalion personnel and Special Operations Forces personnel have returned to Russia.
Thirty-six planes and four helicopters arrived at their base aerodromes. In addition, six long-range Tu-22 bombers arrived at their home bases and 127 units of automotive special hardware were transported to Novorossiysk by sea.
Staying in Syria as part of efforts to assist the political settlement and restore peaceful life are the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides, at full strength, and three military police battalions exercising control in de-escalation zones in accordance with your decision.
Also, in accordance with international treaties, our two bases, the air force group at the Khmeimim air base and the naval supply and maintenance facility at Tartus, stay on a permanent basis.
In accordance with your order, the permanent presence of Russian ships and submarines carrying high-precision long-range weapons will be ensured in the Mediterranean Sea.
In this connection, I ask you to approve the structure and personnel of the units deployed at Tartus and Khmeimim.