Putin Pulling Russian Troops From Syria

Mission 'generally accomplished'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2016 1:11 PM CDT
Putin Pulling Russian Troops From Syria
Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of the State Council in Yaroslavl, Russia, Monday, March 14, 2016.   (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Surprise, surprise: Vladimir Putin is pulling most of his troops out of Syria with his own version of "mission accomplished":

  • “I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished," he said Monday, per RT.com. "That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow."

Moscow authorized Russian fighters to begin airstrikes in September with the stated goal of helping Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad defeat the Islamic State. Russia's "entry into the Syrian civil war tipped the balance in favor of the Syrian government, allowing it to recapture territory from rebels," says the BBC. On Monday, Putin said he coordinated the withdrawal with Assad, adding that it should give a boost to peace talks currently underway in Geneva, reports AP. He added that a Russian airbase in Hemeimeem and a naval base the Syrian port of Tartous would continue to operate. (More Syria stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.