Putin: Russian Troops Will Leave Syria if Government Wants

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia May 17, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s troops will leave Syria when the war is over and Damascus asks them to leave.

Speaking at an energy conference in Moscow, Putin said all foreign troops should leave Syria as soon as the hostilities cease. Asked if Russia would like to leave the country as well, Putin said that Russia would do so if requested by the Syrian government.

The Kremlin criticizes the involvement of the US Army in Syria and points out that the presence of the Americans in Syrian territory is not authorized by the UN or by the local government itself.

Russia intervened in the Syrian war in 2015 to support the government of its ally, President Bashar Assad, and helped the Syrian government take back much of the territory under terrorist occupation.

Also criticizing the US was Turkish presidency’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin. If the United States maintains its presence in Syria, tensions in the Middle East will escalate, he claimed.

“We know that the US wants to remain politically in Syria, and we understand that this will exacerbate the tensions in the region,” he said.

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Syria has been undergoing a war of aggression against it since March 2011. Armed conflict between government troops and foreign backed terrorist organizations has devastated the country.

The US has been leading an international coalition against terrorism in the region since 2014 and conducting air strikes in Syria without the consent of the authorities in Damascus.

Washington maintains several military bases in the Arab country, where it claims to train Syrian opposition militants who are allegedly fighting ISIS.

The Americans also support the Kurdish militias – the People’s Protection Units (YPGs) – provoking discontent from Turkey, which classifies the parent organization of the YPG, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as a terrorist organization.

Russia and Iran also criticize the activities of the American international coalition in the region and support the government of President Bashar Assad.

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