Putin orders withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria during surprise visit to Khmeimim Airbase

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Khmeimim Airbase in Syria’s Latakia province on Monday morning. He ordered the start of the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country.

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Syrian army sappers detonate explosives near Latakia

Syrian army sappers continued to clear mines in areas previously held by anti-government militants near Latakia on Monday, with more than 800 homemade explosives having been defused since the start of the month.

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Assad tries out role of Su-35 fighter jet pilot at Russia’s Khmeymim airbase

Syrian President Bashar Assad has tried out the role of fighter jet pilot, as he arrived in Latakia province to inspect the Russian-operated Khmeymim airbase. This marks the first time the Syrian president has visited the military airfield.

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Russia, Iran, Turkey adopt memorandum on creation of 4 de-escalation zones in Syria

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Idlib, Latakia and Homs are included in the safe zones, as well as parts of Aleppo, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Under the memorandum, any fighting between government forces and armed opposition will cease within the safe zones.

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Russian and EU parliamentarians visit school in eastern Aleppo

Members of Russia’s State Duma and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) visited one of the schools in eastern Aleppo’s Masaken Hanano area on Tuesday. The joint delegation was led by Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Vladimir Vasilyev. Apart from visiting a school, the deputies also attended a distribution of humanitarian aid packages to eastern Aleppo residents, reports say. Earlier in the day, the delegation visited Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Latakia. Previously, the delegation also met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Monday, with the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 reportedly on the agenda.

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‘Ambassadors of music’: NYPD mourns Alexandrov Ensemble deaths in fatal TU-154 crash

Most of the passengers on the fateful Tu-154 plane were members of the world-famous Alexandrov Ensemble army choir, en route to Syria to perform at the Latakia airbase. Among the many who paid tribute to the musicians were the New York Police Department, whose ceremonial unit performed with the Alexandrov Ensemble in 2011.

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‘I stayed home with child, shocked now’: Singer from Alexandrov choir didn’t board crashed plane

Most of the passengers on the Tu-154 plane that crashed after take-off from Sochi were members of the world-famous Alexandrov army choir, en route to Syria to perform at the Latakia airbase.

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