TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered his forces in Syria to start withdrawing, saying that after a two-year military campaign, Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying Daesh (ISIL or ISIS).
Putin made the announcement during a surprise visit to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria’s Latakia Province where he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and addressed Russian military servicemen, Reuters reported.
Putin on Monday gave the order for Russian forces to start withdrawing to their permanent bases in Russia, the Kremlin said on its website.
“The task of fighting armed bandits here in Syria, a task that it was essential to solve with the help of extensive use of armed force, has for the most part, been solved and solved spectacularly,” Putin said, in remarks broadcast on Russian television.
He said Russia would keep its Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province as well as its naval facility at Tartous “on a permanent basis” despite a decision to start pulling some of its forces out of Syria.
Recapture of the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal from Daesh on November 19 marked an end to the terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate it had declared in 2014.
Russia first launched air strikes in Syria in September 2015. Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.