RUSSIA HAS NO IMMEDIATE PLANS TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM SYRIA – PUTIN
MOSCOW, Russia has no immediate plans to pull its troops out of Syria, but may do it quickly when conditions permit, Xinhua news agency quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying on Thursday.
“The Russian military will stay there as long as it is beneficial to Russia and in fulfilment of our international obligations,” he said during his annual televised “Direct Line” Q&A session.
Putin said Russia’s participation in fighting terrorists in Syria was an “important and noble mission” aimed at defending the interests of Russia and its citizens.
According to him, thousands of terrorists originating from Russia and Central Asian countries have converged on Syria.
”It is preferable to neutralise them in Syria than wait until they come to Russia with weapons,” he said.
Russia maintains two military facilities in Syria, namely the Tartus naval base and the Hmeymim airfield, under an agreement with the Syrian government.
“If needed, we will be able to promptly withdraw our military personnel at no material costs,” he said.
Russia began participating in anti-terrorist operations in Syria in Sept 2015 at the invitation of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, predominantly with missile strikes in support of the Syrian army.
In Dec 2017, the Russian military announced that Syrian troops supported by Russian servicemen had destroyed the Daesh militant group in Syria.
Later, Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from the war-torn Middle East country.
Source: Nam News Networkhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/russia-has-no-immediate-plans-to-withdraw-troops-from-syria-putin/Government