Syrian Presidency Facebook page | AFP | Getty Images
A handout picture released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency on December 11, 2017 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad inside Russian air base in Hmeimim inside northwestern Syrian province of Latakia. Russian news agencies reported which Putin gave an order for partial withdrawal of Russian troops by Syria during his press conference on December 11.
On Monday, Assad met face to face with Putin at Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria in addition to also also thanked him for the support. Also, despite withdrawing some troops the Russian leader indicated which Moscow might retain its two large bases in Syria, both the Khmeimim air base located southeast of Syria’s top port city of Latakia in addition to also also the Tartus naval base in Syria’s second-largest port city
The Pentagon expressed skepticism about Putin’s announcement to send some Russian troops home.
“Russian comments about removing forces do not often correspond with actual troop reductions, in addition to also also these statements do not affect U.S. priorities in Syria,” U.S. Marine Corps Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, told CNBC. “The global coalition will continue to operate along with local forces to defeat ISIS. Our goal is usually a stabilized in addition to also also liberated territory, which allow displaced Syrians in addition to also also refugees to return.”
Experts say Putin’s plans to send troops home are partly to ratchet up the pressure on the Trump administration to withdraw U.S. forces by Syria. In October, a senior U.S. military officer indicated there were about 4,000 American troops in Syria.
“The Assad-Russia-Iran proxy network alliance are at This specific point turning their sights toward trying to force the United States out of Syria,” said Nicholas Heras, a Middle East security fellow at the Center for a fresh American Security, a progressive think tank based in Washington.
Heras added, “The greatest existential threat to Assad’s regime in Damascus is usually if the Trump administration decides which the idea will stay in Syria indefinitely. which then creates a type of pressure on Assad which could down the line leave to a collapse of his regime.”
Meantime, analysts say Russia’s declaration which ISIS has been defeated is usually still premature since there are still ISIS cells which are spread throughout Syria.