Another day, another Russian deception: Fake withdrawal.
Russian warplanes continued bombing in Syria and “fewer than 10” departed the region following President Vladimir Putin’s stunning announcement that his forces had accomplished their mission and a partial withdrawal had begun, Pentagon officials said.
“We have seen some Russian aircraft depart Syria and return to Russia but we have not seen a large contingent of Russian forces” pulling out, said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook. “So we’ll have to wait and see like everybody else what the Russians do in regard to President Putin’s reference to a partial withdrawal.”
Cook said that the remaining Russian aircraft carried out airstrikes Tuesday. He did not say how many strikes were conducted or specify where the targets were located, but said that the airstrikes appeared to be aimed at areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Cook said he could not give a figure on the number of Russian planes that have left Syria but “fewer than 10 is what we’ve seen.” Russia was believed to have 45-50 warplanes in Syria, including advanced Su-34 bombers, Su-24M bombers and Su-25 attack aircraft.
Most of them have been flying out of the Russian-controlled Hmeymim airbase, also known as Khmeimim, near the northwestern city of Latakia. Despite the announced withdrawal, Russia has said that it will maintain control of the Hmeymim airbase and the small Russian naval base near Latakia that has been its only base in the region for decades.
Full article: Pentagon: Russian Warplanes Continue Bombing in Syria (Military.com)