MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The terrorism situation in Syria is different from what it was in the previous months, so the decision to withdraw the main part of Russian troops from the country is not simply declaratory, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
When asked if the Kremlin was wary about a possible counter attack by terrorists, similar to that which had happened in Palmyra, and if a large part of Russian troops was actually going to stay in Syria, while the withdrawal announcement was merely a pre-election political step, Peskov said: "Not in the least."
He added that "today, the situation is totally different from what it was in the previous months and years."
The Russian presidential spokesman pointed out that on Monday, Putin had stated that the operation to save Syria and liberate it from terrorists was over so there was no longer need to use the capabilities of Russian troops. At the same time, Russia will keep its bases in Tartus and Hmeymim.
"As the president stressed, we do not rule out that terrorists may try to raise their head again, but in this case they will have to face strong and devastating blows like they have never seen," Peskov concluded.