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Russian president Putin announced today that troops will begin to be withdrawn from Syria tomorrow, March 15, because the objective has been achieved.
On Monday, President Putin indicated that the Kremlin will start withdrawing its main forces in Syria, saying that the military has largely achieved its objectives.
"I think that the task that was assigned to the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces as a whole has achieved its goal, and so I order the defense minister to start tomorrow withdrawing the main part of our military factions from the Syrian Arab Republic," President Putin said during a meeting with the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries, according to RIA Novosti.
The withdrawal will begin on Tuesday.
"With the participation of the Russian military…the Syrian armed forces and patriotic Syrian forces have been able to achieve a fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism and have taken the initiative in almost all respects," the Russian president said.
"There has been a significant turning point in the fight against terrorism," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
Putin expressed hope that this decision will encourage all parties involved in the Syrian conflict to pursue a peaceful resolution….
Moscow will, however, maintain a military presence in Syria, and a deadline for complete withdrawal has not yet been announced. Putin also indicated that Russian forces will remain at the port of Tartus and Hmeymim airbase in Latakia.
It appears that the tide has turned against ISIS, and that Russia is convinced that the Syrian army can now begin to restore order and mop up the remaining pockets of resistance on its own. In my view, the Russians would not begin to withdraw troops apart from an understanding that the US government would stop its support of ISIS and the other rebels fighting the Syrian government.
So ends the US government’s policy to overthrow five countries in seven years that was begun in 2001. The score? Russia 1; US 0. (Actually, the good guys in the Pentagon seem to have come out on top over the neocons.)