01:10 GMT11 July 2020
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    Commenting on Wednesday's announcement by the Russian General Staff that Russia has withdrawn almost half of its air grouping originally based at the Hmeymim facility in Syria, military political scientist Oleg Glazunov told Radio Sputnik that there has been a turning point in the Syrian conflict and Daesh have already lost the fight.

    On Wednesday, the Russian General Staff announced that it has withdrawn almost half of its air grouping originally based at the Hmeymim facility in Syria.

    "The number of terrorist units has decreased, which allowed us to withdraw almost half of the aircraft based at the Hmeymim airbase," chief of the Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security.

    Rudskoi revealed that the Russian air group never exceeded 35 aircraft between November 10, 2016 and January 10, 2017.

    As for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Russia is now operating about 80 drones in Syria, he added.

    He stressed that analysis has shown that the Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted four times more airstrikes than the US-led coalition despite having fewer aircraft.

    "Comparative analysis of the results of activities by Russian aircraft and the international coalition's aircraft in Syria shows that, while having far fewer aircraft, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out three times more combat sorties and made four times more missile and bomb strikes," Rudskoi said.

    The top military official also noted that from its Hmeymim base, the Russian aerial group is able to control all of Syria's airspace.

    Commenting on the announcement, an expert from the Association of Military Political Scientists, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Moscow-based Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Oleg Glazunov told Radio Sputnik that has have been a turning point in the 6-year-long Syrian war.

    "Our pilots have demonstrated their skills, have demonstrated that technically, our aircraft have outstripped their western counterparts. You also have to take into account the climate difference between Russia and Middle Eastern Syria, with its heat and sandstorms," he told Sputnik.

    The military scientist said that there are now a lot less of Daesh militants left, so there is no need in such a large aerial group there anymore.

    "We can say it clearly that Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL/ISIS) has lost the fight for Syria," he stated.

    Glazunov said that now it's the turn of the intelligence and security services to operate on the ground in Syria.

    "Only the most defiant militants remain on the ground, the rest are taking shelter underground. This is now the job of the intelligence and security services to uncover these Daesh cells. And those jets which are left at the base will be enough to support the forces of President Assad and those Iranian units which are helping them," he said.

    Since March 2011 Syria has been marred with a bloody military conflict. According to UN data, over 220,000 people have been killed in the 6-year-long war.

    Since September 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria targeted at terrorist positions at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    In March 2016, the main part of the Russian air forces left Syria in line with the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the successful completion of their mission.

    Syrian conflict, withdrawal, Daesh, Russian Aerospace Forces, Russian General Staff, Oleg Glazunov, Russia, Hmeymim, Syria
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