05:47 GMT +324 January 2020
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    The technical staff at Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria launched preparations for the aircraft return to home airfields, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian armed forces had fulfilled their mission in Syria and their withdrawal would begin the following day.

    "The technical staff of the airbase began to prepare the aircraft for long-range flights to airbases in the Russian Federation. The personnel performs loading of the equipment, supplies and property to the military cargo planes," the statement reads.

    Aircraft from the Russian Aerospace Forces deploying from the Syrian airbase in Hmeymim will make stopovers at Russian airfields if their flight to their home base is more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) away, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

    "Aircraft from the Hmeymim Airbase will complete flights to their home bases in Russia along air corridors under the escort of military transport aviation aircraft. If the flight is longer than 5,000 kilometers, the planes will make a stopover at airfields in the Russian Federation for refueling and technical checkups," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

    On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin withdrawing Russian military groups from Syria.

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    Tags:
    withdrawal, Hmeymim airbase, Vladimir Putin, Syria, Russia
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