Twice the former commander of the Russian troops in Syria led the western military district

Alexander Zhuravlev twice became the commander of the Russian troops in Syria and twice left this place. During his leadership, the forces of Damascus, supported by Russia, successfully launched an offensive against Aleppo, losing Palmyra at the same time.

Photo: Alexey Druzhinin / RIA News

Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlev, who commanded the Russian group in Syria, was made president of the post of commander of the western military district. It is reported by TASS with reference to the press service of the ZVO.

"With the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the Hero of Russia, Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev, was appointed commander of troops of the Western military district," says the report.

Alexander Zhuravlev has headed the headquarters of the group of Russian troops in Syria since September 2015, from the immediate start of the operation. From July to December 2016, he was the commander of the entire operation. In 2017 he directed for a while the Eastern Military District, but later, in December, he returned to Hmeymim to command the grouping of Russian troops. In Syria, it remained until September 2018.

During the period of command of Zhuravlev, Russian forces, mainly aviation, actively participated in the offensive of Bashar al-Assad's forces against the city of Aleppo. At the same time, during the period of his command, the forces of Damascus lost Palmyra, released in May 2016, for the second time. It was only possible to resume the city in the spring of 2017.

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The predecessor of Zhuravlev, former commander of the ZVO forces, Andrei Kartapolov, received the position of Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia in July. Kartapolov also led the Russian troops grouping in Syria, from December to March 2017.

At the end of October, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that more than 87,500 militants were killed during the Russian operation in Syria, which lasted three years. According to him, during this period, 1.4 thousand settlements were released and over 95% of the territory of Syria. The losses of the Russian armed forces during this period, according to the former commander in chief of the VKS, Viktor Bondarev, amounted to 112 people, eight planes, seven helicopters and several units of armored vehicles.

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