Russia seeks to maintain a presence in Syria after March 14, Moscow announced the withdrawal of the main part of his group from the country, says American intelligence analyst firm Stratfor referring to the pictures of the airbase in Latakia province and bases in the port of Tartus.
Referring to the pictures, which according to Stratfor, sealed air base in Lackaye as at noon on 17 March, at that time, more than a quarter of the Russian air group was withdrawn from Syria. At the same time, analysts note that, according to the pictures, Moscow is expanding the infrastructure-based and in recent days have placed the number of additional forces.
So, according to Stratfor, Russia threw at Syrian airbase attack helicopters Mi-28 and Ka-52. According to analysts, these helicopters can perform not only protective functions, but also to conduct search and rescue operations and to provide close air support to ground forces.
In addition, notes intelligence and research company, Russia has not yet withdrawn its su-30 and su-35, and after the announcement of the withdrawal of troops continued to support from the air by Syrian government forces that are involved in clashes with the militants of the “Islamic state” (ISIS, the organization banned in Russia) near Palmyra.
Stratfor also refers to photos of the base in the port of Tartus, according to which any significant movement of Russian equipment from Syria is not observed. Analysts note that in the port you can see military vehicles, but heavy artillery is not there. Stratfor believes that it indicates a possible intention of Russia to continue active ground support Syrian government forces. In addition, Russia may delegate some of this equipment to allies in Syria.
On the withdrawal of the main group of the Russian forces from Syria 14 March, announced President Vladimir Putin. He stressed that assigned to the defense Ministry, were generally fulfilled. The next day the first group of Russian aircraft have left Syria. In its structure included the Tu-154 and su-34. On 16 March, the defense Ministry announced the withdrawal of another group, which included the Il — 76 aircraft and front-line bomber su-24M. On the same day by Reuters, after analyzing the footage shown on state television, has estimated that Syria is derived from almost half of Russian aircraft. March 18, the official representative of the Central command of the armed forces of the USA Colonel Patrick Ryder said that Russia has withdrawn most of its strike aircraft out of Syria.
At the same time, the Russian side has repeatedly stressed that will continue to support government forces in Syria to fight with terrorist groups. The chief of the main operations Directorate of the General staff Sergey rudskoy sevalal that the Russian space forces continue to inflict strikes on the positions of the Islamic state and “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” (organization banned in Russia). “I want to emphasize that aerospace defence forces of Russia will continue its strikes against terrorist groups the Islamic state and “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” in Syria”, he said.