Putin ordered to withdraw Russian troops from Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of the main Russian forces from Syria starting from March 15.

“I believe that the goals assigned to the Ministry of Defense were mostly achieved. Therefore, I order to begin withdrawing the main part of our military group from the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,” – Putin said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“Our bases in Tartus and in Hmeymim airport will operate as usual. They should be well-protected from land, sea, and air,” – added the Russian president.

According to him, a part of the remaining Russian military will be engaged in monitoring of the ceasefire.

Russia launched a military air campaign in Syria on September 30 last year.

The US, Britain, and other NATO countries have repeatedly stated that the main target of the Russian military were moderate rebels, fighting against the forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Human rights groups have also accused Moscow in the deaths of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Moscow has consistently denied all the charges, insisting that it struck at positions of ISIS, and other extremist groups.

On February 27, a ceasefire came into force in Syria, which, in spite of a few incidents, is generally respected. The ceasefire does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front, that are recognized as terrorist.

Source: BBC

 

Image: kremlin.ru