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Russia expects foreign troops to be withdrawn from Syria — Kremlin

On May 17, Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi

SOCHI, May 18. /TASS/. Russia hopes foreign armed forces deployed to Syria in violation of international law will be withdrawn from that country, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

At a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed the hope that in connection with the Syrian army’s achievements in the fight against terrorism and the beginning of a more active phase of the political process "foreign armed forces will be withdrawn from the Syrian Arab Republic." Answering reporters’ questions on which countries were meant and whether Iran was among them, the Kremlin spokesman recalled that some countries kept their soldiers and officers on Syrian soil "in a de facto illegitimate regime from the perspective of international law."

"It is precisely these countries that we are talking about," he stressed.

Peskov recalled that some counties also had military-technical cooperation with Syria. "Russia is there at the request of the Syrian leadership and has all legitimate grounds for that. However, far from all countries deployed their troops to Syria legitimately from the legal point of view," he added.