According to earlier media reports, as a result of a shelling of a Russian airbase in Syria, four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters, and an An-72 military cargo plane were destroyed, and the ammunition depot detonated after being hit by a mortar shell.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation confirmed the shelling of the Russian base in Syria, but denied the damage to the aircraft.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 11, 2017, Putin flew to the Russian military base Hmeymim in Syria where he ordered the withdrawal of a significant part of the Russian military group from the country. This was his third order over the past two years on troops and equipment withdrawal from Syria. At the same time, Putin said that Russia will retain two military bases in Syria - in Tartus and Hmeymim.