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Russia: Russian pilots receive hero's welcome after returning from Syria

4 15.03.2016 Инфо

A large crowd gathered at an airbase near Voronezh, Tuesday, to welcome the first group of Russian Air Force pilots returning from Syria.
The crowd sang patriotic songs and waved ribbons in the colours of the Russian flag as a number of Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jets landed at the base. Upon landing the pilots were welcomed with the traditional greeting of bread and salt.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria starting from Tuesday. Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province in order to control the observation of ceasefire agreements in the region.
The Russian Air Force began its operations in Syria on September 30, 2015, after receiving an official request for assistance from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian jets have been launching air strikes on strategic and economic targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist targets in Syria.