The commander of group of Russian troops in Syria gave his first interview to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta"
Material posted: Publication date: 24-03-2016
When last week the President of Russia Vladimir Putin awarded in the Kremlin distinguished themselves in Syria's troops, few people knew what was awarded the title of Hero of Russia, Colonel General Alexander Dvornikov almost half a year was in command of our military grouping in this Arab country.

The name of the first captain, holding the post of first Deputy - chief of staff Central military district, was never mentioned in connection with air and especially ground operation against the terrorists. And only a narrow circle of persons was aware that Janitors sent to Syria, there is headed our units and coordinates their interaction with local government forces.

Details of many combat operations, developed and implemented under the command Dvornikov, still classified. But some of the events of his Syrian trip for the first time, the General said in an exclusive interview to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".

Mr President, let's remember what was happening in Syria at the time there Russian military contingent.

— I headed the group of Russian troops arrived in the Syrian Arab Republic in September last year with the task to deal with the evolving situation and the state of the Syrian army.

I can say one thing: the situation at that time was clearly not in favor of Damascus. The terrorists, the total of which accounted for more than 60 thousand people, took about 70 percent of Syrian territory. Gangs took the largest cities of Idlib, Raqqa and Palmyra.

The terrorists controlled large parts of the suburbs of HOMS and Damascus, led a large-scale offensive in the Latakia province, prepared environment and the capture of Aleppo. A key route to Syria Damascus - Aleppo, connecting South and North were under constant threat of blocking the militants.

In addition, government forces were exhausted for four years of hostilities and with great difficulty held back the attack of terrorists. The population massively leave the country.

But what I have now? What were the results of fighting our military in Syria?

— Actions of the Russian troops during the five and a half months, radically changed the situation in Syria.

The basis of success of a military operation against terrorists has become coordinated work of Russian aviation in the air with units of government and Patriotic forces on the ground. To enhance their combat capabilities in the framework of military-technical assistance we have supplied the Syrian army with modern weapons and military equipment. This artillery systems, communications, intelligence, etc.

In the shortest possible time in the armed forces of Syria had established a system of military advisors with their administrative apparatus. They successfully solved the task associated with the preparation of the government troops, Kurdish, and other Patriotic groups. Positive impact on the environment and the fact that our advisors took an active part in the preparation of hostilities.

This joint work allowed to destroy infrastructure and lines of supply of terrorists, to seize the initiative and move to offensive actions. And they were conducted simultaneously in 15 directions. This forced the militants to abandon major offensive operations and to take action in small groups.

Equally important, the successful action against the criminals has inspired the Syrian people. The Syrians understood that the ISIL militants and "Jabhat EN-Nusra" (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization. - Approx. "WG") you can beat and win.

Moreover, the Syrian society originated the volunteer movement, were formed volunteer brigades and battalions. Today against the militants in Syria in their composition is at war for several thousand people.

Indicative evidence that the patience of the Syrian people ran out, was the expulsion by the simple townspeople of bandits "Jabhat an-Nusra" from the number of settlements in the Central and southern provinces of the country.

Despite their differences with the authorities in Damascus, the Syrian Kurds took an active part in the fight against terrorists in the North of the country. They continue to fight against ISIL and "Jabhat an-Nusra".

The fight went all layers of the Syrian population?

— Exactly. The war against terrorists has acquired a truly national character. And the situation at the fronts has changed dramatically. Moreover, a special role in conducting active offensive operations played volunteer units.

And taking control of key areas in northeastern Aleppo province have seriously affected the supply of militants and the transfer of reinforcements from Turkey through the corridor between Azaz and Jerablus. Thus created the conditions for the defeat of ISIS North of Aleppo.

What we have now? Released airbase "Quires" and a number of settlements that were under siege of terrorists for over three years. The militants are completely driven out of Latakia province. Coastal areas in which concentrated a significant part of the population of Syria, cleansed from terrorists.

In the East of Syria blocked Palmyra, fighting for her release. The capture of this city, having for Syria special historical and geographical importance, in fact, dissects the Islamic state into two parts and opens the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, creates conditions for entering and taking control of the border with Iraq.

In addition, restored control over three large oil and gas fields, which previously was a source of income for terrorists.

In the reports of the Ministry of defense often heard the names of a number of Syrian provinces of Hama, HOMS and Damascus. What is happening there now?

— These provinces are located in the Central part of the country. And most of it is cleared of illegal armed groups. There are the most active in the process of reconciliation. From a military point of view it is very important that the most important roads in Syria are under the control of government forces.

Generally speaking, during the military operations of the Syrian troops with air support liberated 400 settlements. The potential of terrorist groups has decreased more than twice, they have lost the initiative, and the territory controlled by them decreased by 10 thousand square kilometers.

Don't forget that in Syria destroyed about two thousand terrorists - natives of Russia. 17 warlords. These preventive measures against militants are pledged for the security of our country and Russian citizens.

A very important result of the military operation, in my opinion, is the increased morale of the Syrian people in General and government troops in particular. The possible disintegration of the country prevented.

The actions of the Russian army in Syria have put "on ears" not only of Western politicians and their intelligence agencies. The relocation of our aviation groups at the airport Hmamin they perceived as a bombshell. The same sudden, I'd say rapid has been the return of people and equipment home. How this was achieved?

— Due to sudden inspections of combat readiness of our Armed forces have repeatedly practiced the transfer of significant military forces over long distances.

Therefore, when the order was about deployment groups in Syria, he, as expected, has been completed accurately and in the shortest possible time. As quickly and effectively have been established for its full provision with the territory of the Russian Federation.

The main burden in this case rests on the military-transport aviation and the Navy. Since September there have been more than 640 of samoletnaya more than 80 flights and Maritime transport.

And the appearance of our army with modern modular designs enabled literally in a matter of days to deploy to the airfield Hmamin all necessary infrastructure facilities from the airfield and technical support, residential and administrative buildings to kitchens and showers.

Nearly six months before your eyes unfolding dramatic events in Syria. Now there is hope for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in that country. How do you evaluate this prospect?

— You probably know that on the territory of airbase Hamim organized the Center's work of reconciliation. It employs more than 60 Russian officers, most of them are distributed by province. Despite the apparent violations, the cessation of hostilities in Syria in General is observed. Most active in the reconciliation process underway in the provinces of Hama and HOMS. We hope that in the near future in these areas the fighting to stop completely.

Importantly, the process of concluding the truce continues. At the time of my departure from Syria with the terms of the cessation of hostilities agreed 43 armed formations, and of the reconciliation agreement signed 51 the elders of the village. Their number is growing every day.

However cause concern the shelling of the Turkish military of the Kurdish forces fighting against terrorists "dzhebhat EN-Nusra" in the Northern province of Aleppo. These means support Ankara gangs trying to disrupt the reconciliation process in Syria.

Have a question that is being discussed since sending our military to Syria. They participated in a ground operation?

Our military advisers have worked and are working at all levels, including tactical. These officers are assisting Syrian counterparts in the planning and conduct of combat operations against terrorists, as well as in the development of Russian military equipment.

I will not hide that on Syrian territory there are divisions and our special operations Forces. They perform exploration of objects for strikes of Russian aviation, engaged in bringing aircraft on targets in remote areas, solve other specific tasks.

But we must bear in mind that in Syria are the same and similar units of the armed forces of the United States, other coalition States.

Now in the media a lot of talk about which units will remain in Syria after the withdrawal of the main part of the Russian group. You can put this matter clear?

— To list the entire grouping to the last man and the aircraft, of course, will not. I will say this: in Syria will remain the required number of forces intended to ensure control over the observance of the cessation of hostilities. And for the safe operation of our item components of aviation on Mamimi and point of logistics Russian Navy in Tartus.

Yury Gavrilov talked 



Tags: Russia , Syria , armed forces