First Russian transports fly out of Syria with equipment

Tuesday morning, Russian TV showed personnel at Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Latakia province loading equipment and boxes on Ilyishin IL-76 heavy transports taking off for Moscow, starting the partial military evacuation announced by President Vladimir Monday night. In New York, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting that “finally” all the components of Syria’s peace process were in place, including a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian aid deliveries and negotiations. Russia’s decision to begin withdrawing from Syria “shows our deep commitment to the political process” to end Syria’s war, he said. The council also heard a report from UN envoy Staffan de Mistura on the new round of peace talks that opened in Geneva.The Kremlin announced Tuesday that military advisers and experts will stay to coordinate the Assad regime’s military actions

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