Russia says it started withdrawal of forces from Syria
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (Reuters)
Date: 2017-01-07 05:15
Russia declared it has begun the withdrawal of its forces from Syria, according to what the head of the armed forces said Friday.
General Valery Gerasimov said that the withdrawal would begin with the departure the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which arrived to the Syrian coast in November.
“In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the Russian Defense Ministry is beginning the reduction of the armed deployment to Syria,” he said, according to Interfax news agency.
The announcement came a week after Turkey and Russia negotiated a ceasefire between Assad regime and opposition fighters’ groups. Talks aimed at a political solution are due to start in Kazakhstan later this month.
Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov, commander of Russian forces in Syria, said the carrier group had completed its mission, carrying out 420 sorties and destroying 1,252 targets over two months.
On December 29, a day before ceasefire came into effect, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said it would create “the conditions we need to be able to reduce Russia’s military presence on Syrian territory.”