The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Russian activity in Syria | Russian forces withdraw from several positions in Syrian desert and Iranian-backed militias control them

Partial withdrawal of Russian pilots and their military aircraft from Syria

SOHR sources have confirmed that the withdrawal of Russians from Syrian territory was confined only to military pilots, and their fighter jets, who participated in military operations in Syria and left Syria through Hmeimim base.

This withdrawal led to the recent decline in Russian aerial bombardment and execution airstrikes on the Syrian desert.

SOHR sources have also added that Russian forces withdrew from several of their military positions in the Syrian deserts towards other areas, such as Tartous and Latakia.

The positions, from where Russian forces have withdrawn, most notably Palmyra area and its vicinity in the eastern countryside of Homs, do not witness executing military operations.

The Russians have left these positions for regime forces, who in turn handed them over to Iranian-backed militias for stationing under the pretext of “the lack of sufficient regime troops to fill these positions.”

However, there are no confirmed reports on whether the Russian withdrawal from the Syrian desert comes in the framework of the repositioning in other locations or a total withdrawal from Syria.

In regime-held areas, Russian presence continues considerably as Russian forces deploy “Russian military police and observer officers” in bases and operating rooms, in Aleppo and in other Syrian provinces.

In areas controlled by the SDF, there are no withdrawals of Russian forces. On the contrary, yesterday and on May 24, Russian forces sent military reinforcements to their bases in Manbij city, east of Aleppo, and in Ain Issa district, the “capital of Autonomous-administration” north of Al-Raqqah.


On May 20, Reliable SOHR sources reported a partial withdrawal by Russian forces from the archaeological area of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs.

According to SOHR sources, several Russian military vehicles withdrew from the position where Russian forces gather in the “square of the horse racetrack,” near Palmyra fortress, east of Homs. Also, several vehicles withdrew from Mahin area in Homs desert.

The withdrawn vehicles were headed to the centre of Homs province, and they are believed to head to Hmeimim base in Latakia province.

This coincided with the subsiding Russian activity in Syria over Russian forces’ preoccupation with the war in Ukraine.