(JNS.org) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday decided to withdraw Russian forces from Syria following a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
“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,” Putin reportedly told his government ministers.
“Therefore, I order effective tomorrow to start withdrawing the main part of our military factions from the Syrian Arab Republic,” he added.
Russia had been launching airstrikes in Syria during the last several months, targeting the Islamic State terror group and supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid that country’s civil war. Russia and Israel had coordinated to make sure their forces did not clash at the Israel-Syria border.