Russia will pull out of Syria if the country’s future government decides that Russian troops are no longer needs in the country. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview.
“Those who are illegally present in a foreign country – in this case, in Syria – should leave the region. It concerns all countries,” Putin stressed. “If Syria’s future legitimate government says that it doesn’t need Russian troop to remain in the country, Russia will leave the region,” he added.
According to Putin, Russia continues to discuss foreign military presence in Syria with Iran, Turkey and the US. “I have always said to our colleagues that there is a need to free Syria from the foreign military presence,” the Russian leader emphasized.
US Withdrawal From Syria
Earlier, US troops withdrew from northern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish operation against Kurdish fighters in the border area. Kurdish-led forces have until now been a key US ally in Syria, where they helped defeat the Islamic State group, but Turkey regards them as terrorists.
The main Kurdish-led group called the surprise US move a “stab in the back”. But President Donald Trump defended the withdrawal, saying it was time “to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars”
In Washington, the move was condemned by allies and opponents of the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said the move “poses a dire threat to regional security and stability, and sends a dangerous message to Iran and Russia, as well as our allies, that the United States is no longer a trusted partner”.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said: “A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that Isis and other terrorist groups regroup.”
The Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump loyalist on most issues, said he would call for Turkey’s suspension from Nato and introduce sanctions against Ankara if the Turks attack Kurdish forces. “This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids. Shot in the arm to the bad guys. Devastating for the good guys,” Graham wrote in a tweet.
Ankara says the aim of its assault in Syria is to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as linked to militant Kurdish separatists in Turkey. It says it wants to create a “safe zone” to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil and that Europe should pay for it, a plan the EU has rejected outright.