Private Soldiers Are Increasingly Fighting Russia's Battles in Syria and Beyond

Private Soldiers Are Increasingly Fighting Russia's Battles in Syria and Beyond

At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeymim air base in Syria on December 31, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday, citing two sources.

The Russian air campaign in support of anti-terrorist efforts by the Syrian authorities lasted from September 2015 to December 2017.

At least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters and an An-72 transport plane, as well as an ammunition depot, were destroyed by the shelling, Kommersant said on its website, citing two "military-diplomatic" sources. President Vladimir Putin said he would soon start pulling out the bulk of troops from the country.

The Russian Ministry of Defense usually releases a video on New Year's to show off their deadly weapons.

Earlier in Syria, the ISIS militants said that he shot down a Russian helicopter.

Russia's Defense Ministry has confirmed that two pilots died when a Russian Mi-24 helicopter crashed due to a technical fault near the Syrian Hama military airfield, on New Year's Eve.

Last month, Russian Federation announced it was withdrawing the bulk of its forces from Syria after it had been fully liberated of Daesh elements.

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