Putin orders withdrawal of Russian military from Syria

Putin orders withdrawal of Russian military from Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that Russia will pulli its forces from Syria.

This is thought to be the first time Putin is visiting the facility since Russian Federation launched counter-terror operations in favour of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday he wanted to work with Iran and Turkey to kick-start the Syrian peace process, Russian news agencies reported. The civil war that erupted in 2011 has killed 400,000 people and caused millions of others to flee their homes.

In his first visit to the airbase since Russian warplanes secretly flew to Syria in late 2015, Putin ordered his Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu to begin the "withdrawal of Russian troop contingents" back to their permanent bases.

Speaking in front of Russian military personnel, Putin lauded the Russian and Syrian militaries for having "defeated the most capable group of global terrorists" in just over two years.

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It also follows the Russian announcement last week that the Syrian army under the Russian air cover routed the Islamic State in eastern Syria and fully restored control over the border with Iraq.

The Hemeimeem base, in the heartland of Assad's Alawite minority, has served as the main foothold for the Russian military campaign in Syria.

"Friends, the Motherland is waiting for you", Putin said. "I thank you for your service".

Russian television stations showed Putin walking off the plane, embracing and shaking hands with Assad at the air base.


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