Putin orders start of Russian military withdrawal from Syria, says ‘objectives achieved’

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu © kremlin.ru

To control the observation of ceasefire agreements in the region, Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province, Putin said.

At Moscow’s initiative, a phone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Syria’s President Bashar Assad was held on Monday evening, the Kremlin reported.

The two leaders agreed that the actions of Russia’s Air Force in Syria have allowed them to „profoundly reverse the situation“ in connection to fighting terrorists in the region, having „disorganized militants‘ infrastructure and inflicted fundamental damage upon them.“

Bashar Assad has recognized the “professionalism, courage and heroism” of Russian Army soldiers and officers, who have taken part in the military action, thanking Russia not only for extensive help in the fight against terrorism, but also for providing humanitarian aid and assistance to the Syrian civilian population.

The Syrian leader also stressed its readiness to engage in the political process in Syria as soon as possible, the Kremlin said.

Moscow launched its anti-terror campaign in Syria on September 30 last year. Russia’s participation in the operation, according to a previous statement by Putin, has its basis in international law and has been conducted “in accordance with an official request from the president of the Syrian Arab Republic [Bashar Assad].”

The Russian Air Force has been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist targets in the region, eliminating military equipment, communication centers, vehicles, arms and fuel depots.

https://www.rt.com/news/335554-putin-orders-syria-withdrawal/

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