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Putin informs US leader Obama of Russia’s military pullout from Syria — Kremlin

March 15, 4:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Also, Putin stressed in his conversation with Obama the importance of close coordination of joint efforts, including in the military sphere, regarding the Syrian conflict settlement
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Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

© EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed his US counterpart Barack Obama on his decision to withdraw the major part of Russia’s Aerospace Forces from Syria, the Kremlin’s press service announced.

"The Russian president has informed [Obama] that after fulfilling primary missions, which the Russian Armed Forces were tasked with regarding the fight against international terrorism, it was decided to withdraw a major part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from Syria," the press service said in its statement.

The statement added that the decision "will definitely serve as a signal of goodwill for all conflicting parties and form a foundation for the launch of the real peace process."

The Kremlin press service announced on late Monday that following a telephone conversation between Russian President Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad the two leaders agreed on the pullout of the major part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from the war-torn country since "the Russian Armed Forces fulfilled the fundamental missions, which had been assigned to them."

Russia, however, will keep an air flights control center in Syria to monitor the observation of the ceasefire regime, the Kremlin said.

Defense Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu was ordered to launch the military pullout from Syria starting March 15.

Russia has been carrying out an anti-terror operation in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Assad. The Russian air task force has been operating against militants in Syria. Some strikes against terrorists were delivered by the Russian Navy.

A ceasefire regime has been in effect in Syria since February 27, but it does not apply to the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra groupings (both outlawed in Russia) and some other formations recognized as terrorist groups by the UN Security Council.

Putin, Obama stress importance of joint efforts in Syrian conflict settlement

Putin stressed in his conversation with Obama the importance of close coordination of joint efforts, including in the military sphere, regarding the Syrian conflict settlement, the Kremlin said in its statement.

"[The leaders] stressed the importance of close coordination of efforts on behalf of Russian and US representatives, including in the military sphere, to maintain truce, provide for humanitarian aid supplies to cut-off [Syrian] residential areas and effective fight against terrorist groups," the statement said.

The presidents also agreed to step up political process of the Syrian conflict settlement and expressed their support of the upcoming UN-coordinated talks in Geneva between the Syrian authorities and opposition, the statement added.

The Kremlin press service announced on late Monday that following a telephone conversation between Russian President Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad the two leaders agreed on the pullout of the major part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from the war-torn country since "the Russian Armed Forces fulfilled the fundamental missions, which had been assigned to them."

Russia, however, will keep an air flights control center in Syria to monitor the observation of the ceasefire regime, the Kremlin said.

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