Russia Withdraws And Iran Expands Foothold In Syria: Report

The government of Russia has undertaken a number of military changes, including withdrawal from some parts of Syria since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Thursday that Russian forces withdrew from their military positions in the Syrian deserts through Hmeimim base.

“The positions, from where Russian forces withdrew, were handed over to the Iranian-backed militias under the pretext of the (lack of sufficient regime troops to fill the vi),” SOHR said in a statement.

The withdrawal led to the significant decline in the Russian aerial and ground operations on the Syrian deserts.

Russian forces were also spotted in areas under regime control, including in Aleppo and in other Syrian provinces. “Russian forces did not withdraw from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), rather sent military reinforcements in Manbij city, east of Aleppo, and in Ain Issa district, the capital city of Autonomous-administration in north of Al-Raqqah,” SOHR said.

But on May 20, Russian forces made a partial withdrawal from some areas in Palmyra in the east. 

Several Russian military vehicles withdrew from Palmyra fortress, east of Homs and from Mahin area in Homs desert, SOHR said, without providing exact numbers of withdrawn vehicles.

Iran is allegedly accused of direct or indirect supports to several groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraq’s Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Kataib Hezbollah, and Syria’s Baqir Brigade in order to maintain its presence in the war-hit country.

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