2 Russian soldiers killed in mortar attack in Syria


MOSCOW Jan 05 (TNS): Two Russian soldiers were killed in a mortar attack on the Hmeymim airbase in Syria last month, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The attack was launched by “a group of mobile subversive militants” on Dec. 31, 2017, according to the statement.

It denied media reports that seven Russian military aircraft were destroyed during the mortar shelling.

The Russian air force in Syria is combat-ready and continues to fully carry out its missions, the statement added.

Moscow began military operations against terrorist groups in Syria at the request of Damascus since September 2015.

With the support of the Russian army, the Syrian government has retaken most of its territories controlled by the Islamic State group in the past two years.

Given the victory on the ground, the Russian army began a partial withdrawal of its troops in Syria early last month under the order of President Vladimir Putin.