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Why Is Russia Withdrawing Its Troops from Syria and What Consequences It Will Have?

On December 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian military units from Syria at Hameem Syrian Air Force Base.

Putin pointed out that the Russian armed forces together with the Syrian army defeated the international terrorist group in Syria. "You are returning to your homeland with victory," Putin said, addressing the Air Force Base. Putin underlined that Syria has remained a sovereign independent state. "Refugees return to their homes. Conditions have been created for the political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations," he said.

"By helping the Syrian people to maintain their statehood, pushing the attacks of terrorists back, you stroke those who directly threatened our country," Putin said, pointing out that if the terrorists again become a threat, the Russian side will strike them.

It should be noted that the withdrawal of a Russian military unit, which was announced earlier during Putin-Assad meeting in Sochi in November, does not mean the end of the Russian presence in Syria, including the military one. "According to international agreements, Syria will continue to work with the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Armed Forces. Two deployment points will be created and operate on a permanent basis in Tartus and Hameem," Putin said.

At the same time, Sergei Surovikin, commander of the Russian military unit in Syria, told Putin that the remaining troops in Syria are capable of performing the same tasks effectively. Experts also point to this, stressing that sending new troops to Syria in case of necessity would not be a big challenge.

Putin also had a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad in Hamaim. During the meeting, Putin expressed hope that Russia will succeed in building a peaceful life and political process in Syria together with Turkey and Iran. "I have great hopes that Iran and Turkey, which support the eradication of terrorism, will succeed in starting a peaceful life and launching a political process in Syria. It is important to prepare the Congress of the Syrian people and start the process of political settlement," Putin said during his meeting with Assad.

It should also be noted that from Syria Putin left for Egypt and then will leave for Turkey.

As a result of the 227-day military operation in Syria 67,000 square kilometers have been liberated.

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