MOSCOW: After almost six months of intense campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the withdrawal of the Russian forces from Syria.
The order by Putin was reportedly given to the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to start the withdrawal of the forces from Tuesday.
Putin has said the decision to start withdrawal of forces from Syria followed after the Russian military’s achievement of the objective.
“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,” Putin was quoted as saying by the local Russian Television.
During a meeting with Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Putin said “In a short period of time Russia has created a small but very effective military group [in Syria]… the effective work of our military allowed the peace process to begin,” Putin said.
Putin further added that with the assistance of the Russian Air Force “Syrian government troops and patriotic forces have changed the situation in the fight with international terrorism and have ceased the initiative.”
However, Russia will keep a military presence at the port of Tartus and at the Khmeimim airbase to observe ceasefire agreements.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin reported that a phone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Syria’s President Bashar Assad was held on Monday evening at Moscow’s initiative. -Agencies
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