News / Europe

    Russia's Strike Aircraft Leave Syria

    Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian Military General Staff (background center), speaks to the media in Moscow, March 18, 2016. The screen shows an aerial image of an airstrike during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria.
    Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian Military General Staff (background center), speaks to the media in Moscow, March 18, 2016. The screen shows an aerial image of an airstrike during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria.

    Russia has removed most of its strike aircraft from Syria and has curtailed airstrikes there this week, according to a U.S. military official.

    "The majority, if not all, of their strike aircraft have left," Colonel Pat Ryder, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command that oversees operations in the Middle East, told Pentagon reporters Friday.

    Ryder said the Russian military still has helicopters and transport aircraft in Syria, along with ground forces.

    In an email to VOA, Ryder said he received information Friday afternoon indicating that Russia did not conduct airstrikes in northern Syria this week but did carry out some airstrikes near the southern city of Palmyra in support of Syrian troops fighting Islamic State militants.

    Earlier Friday, however, Ryder had told VOA and other reporters at the Pentagon there had been no Russian airstrikes in the country this week, saying Russia's strikes countering the Islamic State around Palmyra and the town of Tadmur had been carried out "via artillery systems," not aircraft.


    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

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    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 20, 2016 10:10 AM
    I think the axis of hell, that is Russia, China, Iran, North Korea are in desperate economic straits. That is why Russia really pulled out of Syria. That is why all of these countries are displaying military hardware and aggression, to divert their populations from the economic collapse they know is coming for them that will hit most of their people. They each have dreams of military conquest, expanding their territorial control and power. But that's all they are, dreams. The power they are up against resisting them is overwhelming. They'd better be careful they don't inadvertently precipitate a suicidal event.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 19, 2016 7:03 PM
    Some people never finish anything they start. He was going to annex Ukraine. He flubbed that. He was going to wipe out IS. He didn't even drop his bombs on the right targets, it was Americans who mostly did that for him. And now he's bringing it all back to Russia with its tail between its legs just the way it left Afghanistan. What a useless irrelevant country Russia is. I'd rather have Pluto as a neighbor. It may be smaller than Russia but I'll bet its warmer there in the winter. Well let's give credit where it is do though. He did manage to wipe out two hospitals in his short stay, American only blew up one and that one was by accident.

    by: simply amazing
    March 19, 2016 5:27 AM
    Putin is simply brilliant. He left with the maximum impact.
    1. Saved Syria from being ISIS like Libya.
    2. achieved the impossible, the peace process in which all warring parties are taking part.
    3. Enabled to showcase Russia's military power to the world.

    With just 50 planes and perfect timing. He intervened on the perfect time and left on the perfect time.

    by: bitter truth
    March 19, 2016 4:29 AM
    Russia demonstrated that it is clever enough to get in and get out, and Putin knows how to use these military operations in order to bolster the diplomatic objectives.

    But, America foolishly went to war to remove Saddam Hussain in Iraq and got trapped in Syrian conflict. American leaders also don't know how to use their military operations in order to bolster the diplomatic objectives.

    America only went to war in middle east without any clear vision about the complex region. it has not achieved any military and diplomatic objective.

    But, Russian military has clearly achieved its military and diplomatic objectives. This way, Putin scores more points as a smart leader of a smart country.

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