Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Moscow Announces “Mission Accomplished”. Russian Forces Withdraw from Syria?

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (see image below) confirmed the following:

“I believe that the task put before the defense ministry and Russian armed forces has, on the whole, been fulfilled. 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, …

I am therefore ordering the defense minister, from tomorrow, to start the withdrawal of the main part of our military contingent from the Syrian Arab Republic.” (quoted by Reuters, March 14, 2016)

Emphasis will be put on establishing a diplomatic solution:

“The President of Russia also instructed the Foreign Ministry to intensify the Russian Federation’s participation in organising the peace process to resolve the Syrian problem.” (text of official communiqué, Russian presidency, March 14, 2016)

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