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Russia to reduce military presence in Syria

24 November 2017 [15:16] - TODAY.AZ

By  Trend

By Kamila Aliyeva 

Reduction of the Russian military contingent in Syria may begin before the end of the year, according to the General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and First Deputy Minister of Defense, RIA Novosti reported.

“After the completion of the military tasks, there are very few left, of course, the decision will be made by the supreme commander-in-chief and the grouping will be reduced,” he told journalists answering a question about the prospects for the beginning of the contingent's reduction before the end of the year.

"We will see the situation, of course, [the reduction will be] significant," Gerasimov said commenting on the issue.

He also added that the Center of Reconciliation, our two military bases and a number of necessary structures will be left to support the situation, which has now taken shape.

On November 21, it was announced that Islamic State's days in Iraq and Syria are over as the last vestiges of territory are won back from the self- proclaimed caliphate.

Sochi hosted a trilateral meeting of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 22 which addressed the issue of Syria’s future as an independent state.

During the meeting it was stressed that the Syrian national sovereignty should be respected and interference of foreign powers in the country would not be legitimate.

Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, which support Bashar Assad, are the guarantor countries who brokered a December ceasefire in Syria, that led to the Astana talks aimed at strengthening the ceasefire.

Russia, Iran and Turkey - all deeply involved in the Syrian civil war - decided to launch Syrian National Dialogue Congress in December that is  intended to help frame a constitution for an integrated Syria, including the terms of presidential elections in which Assad would be entitled to stand

Syria has been locked in civil war since March 2011. All previous efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution were ruined, with the opposition demanding Assad leave power, the government insisting he stay on, and neither side able to force the issue by achieving a military victory.

According to UN's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, around 500,000 people have died in the conflict while half the population has been driven from their homes.


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