MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia launched airstrikes against terrorist positions in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Since that time and until March 2016, Russian aviation had conducted over 9,000 sorties, helping Damascus turn the tide of war and launch offensives in key regions of the country.
“When we launched the operation and our Aerospace Forces were engaged in anti-terror fight, we expected the operation to last only several months. Today we mark the one-year anniversary [of the campaign] and one can see no end to it still," Bogdanov said at a session of the Federation Council committee on international affairs.
“We failed to create a broad front and unite our efforts, that is why the operation dragged on,” Bogdanov stressed.
In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a decision to withdraw a major bulk of the Russian forces following successful fulfillment of their tasks in Syria. At the same time, Russia did not abandon its obligations to provide the Syrian government with weapons and military equipment, train military specialists. Hmeymim airbase and a naval facility in the port of Tartus still operate. S-400 and Pantsir air defense systems continue to be on duty in Syria to protect Russian servicemen left in the war-torn country.