President Assad tells Russian leader Syrian people will never forget Russias is assisting driving Islamic State from country
Vladimir Putin has declared mission achieved for Russian forces in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, as he made a surprise visit to the Russian airbase in the country.
” Friends, the motherland stay here for you ,” Putin told the Russian air force detachment based at the Khmeimim airbase during his visit on Monday morning.” You are coming back home with victory .”
Earlier this month, the head of the Russian army said Syria had been entirely liberated from Isis forces.
Putin said a significant part of Russian forces-out would be withdrawn from Syria, though scepticism was warranted given that two previous announcements have been met with little noticeable scaling down.
This time, however, could be different. Talk of the total defeat of Isis may be premature, but there is no doubt that Russian air power, be included with Syrian forces-out and Iran-backed Shia militias on the ground, has decisively changed the balance of power in the long Syrian civil war.
President Bashar al-Assad was on the brink of defeat when Russia entered the conflict in 2015. With sustained airstrikes on both moderate rebel groups and extremists, Moscow has helped Assad win back control of much of the country. The Russian and Syrian air forces were accused of brutal bombing tactics, including deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure, which the Russian military has always denied.
Assad's departure from office, long demanded by western powers, is no longer on the immediate agenda. Russia hopes to convene a peace conference that would cement its status as a new power broker in the Countries of the middle east, bypassing the US.
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