The Russian state-run news agency TASS reports (source):
Three pairs of Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft have landed at an airfield in the southern Krasnodar Region after a long mission in Syria, TASS reports from the scene.
“Servicemen of our legendary 4th Red Banner Air Force and Air Defense Army of the Southern Military District have returned from the Syrian Arab Republic after a long mission. The crews have accomplished with honor and valor the most important and responsible mission of liberating the country friendly to us from international terrorists,” Army Commander Viktor Sevostyanov said at the ceremony of receiving the crews.
For several months, the military pilots were making sorties daily, including at night, monitoring the air situation in the areas of the de-escalation zones, the army commander said.
“The entire world was closely following the actions of our military. Your comrades-in-arms and relatives worried about you. You have returned as the victors,” the army commander said, adding that “by the decision of the country’s supreme military command, all those who have made a weighty contribution to the protection of peace on Syrian soil have been recommended for high state and ministerial honors.”
As senior pilot Vladislav told TASS, the military pilots “performed their mission for more than a month and are extremely glad at such a warm welcome.”
Another pilot called Konstantin said that “our basic tasks during the mission were to monitor de-escalation zones with combat equipment, in particular, to detect terrorist groups and prevent their attacks against Syrian government forces.”
As Russia’s Defense Ministry said, a total of 27 aircraft and helicopters, the flight and technical personnel, a special-purpose medical group and military police have returned to their home bases from the Hmeymim air base in Syria.