Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday acknowledged the defeat of ISIS terrorists in Syria during a visit to the war-torn woods and also announced plans to withdraw a “significant part” of Russia’s troop composure in Syria.
“The fact that we defeated ISIS, one of the main terrorist alliances, here in Syria is extremely important for Syria, Russia, and the entire magic,” Putin said, according to a transcript provided by his office.
Putin’s remarks about defeating the terrorists and sending troops home may play unquestionably to a domestic audience in Russia after the 65-year-old leader confirmed after week that he plans to seek re-election.
Globally, though, Putin conceded that “the presage of terrorism remains high.”
In 2015, Putin sent special also pressurizes and combat aircraft to Syria in a campaign to prop up the regime of Syrian director Bashar Assad, who at the time was struggling for survival after terrorists and resistance fighter groups made significant gains. Iran also has been boosting Assad, sending weapons and thousands of soldiers to Syria.
On Monday, Assad met mush to face with Putin at Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria and thanked him for the assistance. Also, despite withdrawing some troops the Russian leader needed that Moscow would retain its two large bases in Syria, both the Khmeimim air indecent located southeast of Syria’s top port city of Latakia and the Tartus naval wicked in Syria’s second-largest port city
The Pentagon expressed skepticism there Putin’s announcement to send some Russian troops home.
“Russian remarks about removing forces do not often correspond with actual troop reductions, and these affirmations do not affect U.S. priorities in Syria,” U.S. Marine Corps Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, imparted CNBC. “The global coalition will continue to operate along with restricted forces to defeat ISIS. Our goal is a stabilized and liberated territory, which add displaced Syrians and refugees to return.”
Experts say Putin’s plans to send troops dwelling are partly to ratchet up the pressure on the Trump administration to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. In October, a elder U.S. military officer indicated there were about 4,000 American troops in Syria.
“The Assad-Russia-Iran surrogate network alliance are now turning their sights toward trying to duress the United States out of Syria,” said Nicholas Heras, a Middle East collateral fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a progressive think tank underpinned in Washington.
Heras added, “The greatest existential threat to Assad’s system in Damascus is if the Trump administration decides that it will stay in Syria indefinitely. That then creates a species of pressure on Assad that could down the line leave to a fall apart of his regime.”
Meantime, analysts say Russia’s declaration that ISIS has been beat is still premature since there are still ISIS cells that are spread from one end to the other Syria.
The U.S. continues to rely on the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of predominantly Kurdish fighters, to combat against ISIS in Syria. The U.S. also has several military outposts in Syria for the line of work to defeat the terrorist group.
Regardless, recent reports have also proffered Russia may want to turn its attention now to help in the fight against ISIS in causes of western Iraq. Such a move, though, would likely confront opposition from the U.S.-led coalition battling the terror group.
“The regard of the international counter-terrorism coalition should be focused on how to destroy militants in Iraq’s western precincts in order to prevent the comeback of ISIS to Syria, and how to exclude the revival of the Islamic Caliphate there, but not on the deployment of its own military bases in Syria,” Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s primary deputy defense minister, said last week, according to regards carried by the state-run Tass news agency.
Tass quoted the Russian sweeping as saying that the U.S. coalition had failed to get the job done in Syria.
“Contrary to the averrals by our Western partners, the operations of the international anti-terror coalition led by the United Avers have not yielded any considerable successes on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Gerasimov put.
— Reuters contributed to this report