This is a surprising news that came quite unexpectedly from the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Will you believe that he actually ordered his country’s armed forces to start walking out of Syria? This is definitely a movement which will bring peace between both the countries. This is a step to push in peace, as the U.N. mediated talks resumed in Geneva on ending the five-year war.
Vladimir Putin says military campaign has achieved its goals
1. Vladimir Putin orders the withdrawal of main Russian force, declaring goals achieved hours after peace talks resumed in Geneva.
2. Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting in the Kremlin with his defence and foreign ministers, ordered the pull-out to start from Tuesday.
3. As per the president’s orders, Russia will intensify its role in the peace process to end the 5-year-old conflict in Syria.
Russian military to start withdrawing ‘main part’ of forces in Syria
According to Dmitry Peskov a Kremlin spokesman, Putin had called the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to inform him of the Russian decision. Here is what Putin told Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in televised comments:
“The task that was set before our defence ministry and armed forces has as a whole been completed and so I order the defence ministry to from tomorrow start the withdrawal of the main part of our military contingents from the Syrian Arab Republic”
Highlights of Putin’s orders of troop withdrawal from Syria
1. Vladimir Putin decision for peace comes ahead of the 5th anniversary of the start of the conflict in Syria. This move is expected to help serve as a stimulus for Syria’s political talks in Geneva, targeted at resolving the battle.
2. The airbase in Hemeimeem in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia and a naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous will stay operational.
3. According to the Russian President both must be protected ‘from land, air and sea’.
4. According to Kremlin Syrian President Assad noted the professionalism, courage and heroism of the Russian armed forces officers who took part in the military operations. He also expressed deep appreciation to Russia.
5. A State TV from Syria quoted President Assad saying that Russia will decrease its presence to levels ‘in line with the situation on the ground and the continuation of the cessation of hostilities’. The collaboration between the two allies, Assad further added, has secured ‘victories against terrorism and returned security to the country’.
6. Russia’s military campaign, which commenced on 30 September last year, has assisted to shore up the faltering Syrian government, letting it to recapture territory from rebels.
7. Irrespective of a ceasefire which was largely held in Syria, the peace talks resumed in Geneva on Monday. Despite of the accusations of violations from both Assad’s government and its foes.
8. The Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, are excluded from the cease-fire, which is envisioned to bolster indirect Syrian peace talks that began Monday.
9. Staffan de Mistura the UN special representative for Syria, who resumed peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva on Monday, said that he had no comment on the Russian President’s announcement.
10. Earlier in the day, Staffan de Mistura warned that the only substitute to the negotiations is a return to war, and defined political transition in the country as ‘the mother of all issues.’
This decision is a sign of hope five years after the start of Syria’s War. But it has a history of past failures too. There has been several ceasefires and peace talks since the conflict began and has killed 250,000 people. In 2012 hundreds of U.N. monitors were deployed to observe a ceasefire in Syria, but they were pulled out after the fighting resumed.
There were no progress two years ago and the peace talks in Geneva two years ago also collapsed.
According to De Mistura, if he saw no willingness to negotiate in this latest search for a political agreement, he would hand the issue “back to those who have influence, and that is the Russian Federation, the USA … and to the Security Council.” The decrease in fighting has allowed support to be brought to inundated areas, though the opposition says the deliveries to rebel-held territory fall well short of needs.