Vladimir Putin announces Russian withdrawal from Syria during visit to airbase

Syrian president Bashar al Assad meets Vladimir Putin during the Russian president’s visit to an airbase in Syria

December 11, 2017 (EIRNS)-Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the first stop of a whirlwind Middle East tour that would also take him to Egypt and Turkey, announced in Syria that he had issued orders to the Russian Defense Ministry to begin a partial withdrawal of Russian military forces from Syria. In view of this, I have made a decision: most of the Russian military contingent staying in the Syrian Arab Republic is returning home, to Russia.

As for the withdrawal, Lt. Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the commander of the Russian Group of Forces in Syria, announced that it would begin nearly immediately.

Moscow will continue to operate the Khmeimim airbase as well as its naval base in Tartus and will crush any further terrorist activities in Syria, he said.

The announcement came as the Russian strongman made a surprise visit to Russia's Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Russian news agencies reported. The meeting's issue-the destruction of militants of ISIL-is crucial for the entire world. We coped with this. "The victories that have been achieved have affected not only our state, but also neighboring countries", Assad said.




Mr Putin told reporters the combined Syrian and Russian armies have destroyed "one of the most capable groups of worldwide terrorists" in just two years. "We will never forget the casualties and losses that we suffered in the fight with terrorism here in Syria as well as at home in Russian Federation".

The annoucement of Russian President Vladimir Putin has come nearly a week after his statement on the complete destruction of the jihadists along both banks of the Euphrates River.

Putin reportedly issued a similar directive previous year, although the Kremlin's operations in Syria continued.

Commenting on the course of the operation, the Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi stressed that now the terrorist group has been eliminated from Syria, Russian troops will concentrate their efforts on restoring a peaceful life in the country and observing the parties' resolutions.

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