Russian Tass news agency quoted President Putin “I think that the tasks set to the defense ministry are generally fulfilled. That is why I order to begin withdrawal of most of our military group from Syria starting from tomorrow,” he said Monday at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Russia that has a military base in Latakia sent troops on the ground to support Syrian President Bashar al Assad against terrorist groups and opposition militants. West has blamed Russia targeting opposition rather than Islamic State militants that have been the major threat to the stability in the region. Russia also blamed Turkey for the turmoil and suggested that there are Turkish forces on the ground.
Russia and US brokered a cease fire that is largely holding up. The announcement by President Putin appears to support a political solution rather than continued use of the military. UN special envoy Steffan De Mistura welcome the de-escalation of violence and return to the table for dialogue which is supported by most stakeholders. He announced that first round of talks will end March 24th and then resume after a break of 7 to 10 days.
The on going Syrian civil war has resulted in over 250,000 dead and million displaced. The war has created a refugee crisis in the region especially burdening German, Greek and Turkish economies. EU held a special meeting to discuss the refugee crisis and one aspect of it was to find a political solution to Syrian civil war.