11:38 GMT +326 June 2019
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    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, center, inspects military service conditions for Russian personnel at the Hmeimim air base, during his working visit to Syria

    Russia Appoints New Commander of Syrian Operation

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    Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlev replaced Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov as the commander of the Russian operation in Syria, according to a source.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlev was appointed as the new commander of the Russian forces in Syria, a source familiar with the situation told RIA Novosti Friday.

    Zhuravlev replaced Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov as the commander of the Russian operation in Syria.

    "Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlev has been appointed commander of the Russian forces in Syria. The appointment took place after Alexander Dvornikov has been appointed commander of [Russia's]Southern Military District," the source said.

    Zhuravlev served as the chief of staff of the Southern Military District since September 2015.

    Russia conducted an aerial campaign in Syria from September 30, 2015 until March 14, 2016, when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdraw most of the country's military contingent after accomplishing its objective.

    Russia also organized a center for Syrian reconciliation at the Hmeymim airbase that is a platform for negotiations between the Syrian government and militant groups willing to lay down arms.

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    Alexander Zhuravlev, Alexander Dvornikov, Syria, Russia
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