MOSCOW, March 15 Russia will keep its most
advanced air defence system in Syria despite a planned
withdrawal of the bulk of Russian forces from there, Sergei
Ivanov, the Kremlin's chief-of-staff, was quoted as saying on
"In order to efficiently ensure security, including from the
air, the most advanced air defence systems are needed," the RIA
news agency quoted Ivanov as telling reporters when asked if
Russia would keep the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
With a range of up to 400 kilometres (248.55 miles) the
anti-aircraft system means Russia can control large swaths of
the skies above Syria.
Russian state television on Tuesday showed war planes
leaving for redeployment in Russia, a day after President
Vladimir Putin ordered most of his country's military contingent
there to start to withdraw.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)