Russian Air Force: Syria Withdrawal to Be Complete in 3 Days

MOSCOW (AP) -
Russian Su-25 ground attack jets are parked after returning from Syria, at a Russian air base in Primorsko-Akhtarsk, southern Russia, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. More Russian planes returned from Syria on Wednesday, two days after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian military to withdraw most of its fighting forces from Syria, signaling an end to Russia's five-and-a-half month air campaign.(Olga Balashova/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
Russian Su-25 ground attack jets are parked at a Russian air base in Primorsko-Akhtarsk, southern Russia, Wednesday, after returning from Syria. (Olga Balashova/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

The commander of the Russian Air Force says the withdrawal of the bulk of the Russian forces from Syria should be complete in two to three days.

Col.-Gen. Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Thursday that the Air Force aims to meet President Vladimir Putin’s deadline and pull out in the next two to three days.

Putin on Monday announced the withdrawal of most of the Russian forces from Syria to end a five-and-a-half-month campaign there. The first group of bombers left for Russia on Tuesday. Moscow didn’t specify how many aircraft and troops would be withdrawn. It has not revealed how many soldiers it has deployed to Syria, but U.S. estimates of the number of Russian military personnel vary from 3,000 to 6,000.