MOSCOW, December 20./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he does not see signs of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria at the moment, adding that this is possible, however.
‘We don’t see any signs of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria as of yet, but we admit that this is possible," the president told the annual news conference on Thursday. "Especially as we are moving towards a political settlement," he added.
Putin agreed with the US leader Donald Trump in that the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) has been defeated in Syria by and large.
"As for the victory over the Islamic State, I agree with the US president by and large," Putin told the news conference. "We’ve achieved considerable changes in the struggle against terrorism in that territory and dealt heavy blows on the Islamic State in Syria," he said.
The president warned, however, about the danger of terrorists’ moving to neighboring regions as well as the countries of their origin. "There is the danger that [terrorist] and groups similar to them could spill to the neighboring regions, such as Afghanistan, and also to other countries, including of their origin," the Russian leader said. "This is a major threat for all of us."
Withdrawal of US troops
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that the United States had defeated ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria, which was the only reason for the US troops being there, so all US troops would be pulled out of Syria. According to US officials, the US would withdraw its entire force of 2,000 service members from Syria within 60 to 100 days. Along with this, US Department of Defense Spokesperson Dana White stressed that "the campaign against ISIS is not over" and that the United States "will continue working with our partners and allies to defeat ISIS wherever it operates."
Washington launched a military operation against Islamic State in Iraq in June 2014 and in Syria in September 2014.