Russia reduces forces in Aleppo, transfers some to Hmeimim
Russia has reduced the number of its military police officers in Aleppo, which are stationed on the outskirts of al-Hamdaniya and New Aleppo neighborhoods, and around the Ramouseh garage, as well as the Jamiliya and Mashhad areas.
Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Aleppo city quoted members of the Fifth Corps, who hold “settlement” identity cards, as saying that the police had eased their daily patrols, following the transfer of a number of Russian forces in Aleppo city to military posts on the western and southern outskirts of the city.
Over the past few days, several Russian members have been transferred to the Hmeimim base in the Latakia countryside, the source said.
Hassan, 31, a member of the Russian Military Police in Aleppo city, said the Russians had reduced their numbers in the city in the three days leading up to 19 March and transferred some of their forces to the Hmeimim base in Latakia countryside.
Russia organized work at its checkpoints in Aleppo so that each of them was supervised by a Russian officer accompanied by three members, in addition to Syrian fighters who had spent more than four years in the Fifth Corps.
The new Syrian members of the Fifth Corps were sent to fighting fronts, while old members were deployed at Russian bases in Aleppo, according to the Fifth Corps source, who requested to remain anonymous for security reasons.
Russian forces in Aleppo have equipped their military bases with surveillance cameras, and Syrian members who are not members of the Fifth Crops were prevented from entering Russian points, the source said.
The reasons why Russian forces were transferred to Hmeimim base remain unknown till the writing time of this article; however, informed sources told Enab Baladi that Russia had moved its operatives with military experience in Syria towards Ukraine.
Members of the Russian Military Police are deployed in Aleppo city in several areas and at the outskirts of the neighborhoods overlooking the entrances to the city, while Russian forces have reinforced their presence in eastern and northern Aleppo during the past period.
The Russian intervention in Syria officially began on 30 September 2015, with Moscow supporting the Syrian regime in its attacks on opposition-controlled areas in Aleppo, Daraa, al-Ghouta, and Qalamoun. It then played the role of mediator with the opposition to accept “settlement” agreements.
Russian forces are taking the Hmeimim Airport, north of the city of Jableh in Latakia countryside, as their main military base in Syria, according to an agreement concluded with the Syrian government in August 2015, for an indefinite period.
This article is translated and edited by The Syrian Observer.
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