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The Latest: Putin Orders Military Pullout From Syria

donsutherland1

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From The New York Times:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the start of the pullout of the Russian military from Syria starting Tuesday.

Putin said the move should help serve as a stimulus for Syria's political talks. The president said he coordinated the move with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/03/14/world/europe/ap-syria-talks-the-latest.html

One should note that this arrangement probably has more to do with Russia's securing its interests in Syria than a move to promote a diplomatic settlement in Syria. First, the move was "coordinated" with President Assad. That suggests that both parties mutually agree that the Assad government has stabilized the situation and is no longer in imminent peril of being overthrown. Second, with regard to the longer-term regional balance of power, the article goes on to state, "Putin said that the Russian airbase in Hemeimeem in Syria's coastal province of Latakia and a naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous will continue to operate." In effect, Russia appears to have gained an airbase that it will continue to operate. The Tartus Naval Base has been in place since it was constructed in 1971, so it isn't new.
 

OrphanSlug

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Russia is having funding problems, I suspect that has more to do with this than anything else.
 

Rogue Valley

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Putin never intended that his bombs decimate ISIS. His only goal in Syria was to save his henchman ... Bashar al-Assad.

With this accomplished he can now once again concentrate on Ukraine.
 

Crusdr57

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Also from the article, "....Mr. Putin has a history of unpredictability and is known for public statements that do not always align with Russia’s actions. In eastern Ukraine, for example, fighting by Moscow-backed rebels has continued even though Mr. Putin has pledged to honor a peace treaty...."

I seriously doubt Putin is pulling, (or will pull) the majority of Russia's Military forces, etc. out of Syria. Probably he's just using the current situation to his advantage, and to gain, and keep leverage to use against Assad and Turkey.
 

Quag

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Pretty sure OrphanSlug pointed out the main reason.
 

Hawkeye10

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There have been reports for weeks that Assad rubbed Putin the wrong way, with Kremlin leaders saying that assad "Just stopped listening". This sounds right. Assad is in the mess that he is in because even with years of warnings from the US he kept on looking the other way as militants gained strength in Syria. He found them useful in the short term, and he liked being a part of their creating chaos in Iraq. Assad is a bungler, that much is clear.

What is not clear is to what degree Putin is standing down. A lot of the airpower left but it could be back with 24 hours notice, the infrastructure was left almost all up and running. The Syrian Army is being aggressive in some places and it looks like they have lots of Russian forces with them, perhaps driving them.

Assad it is said thinks that Putin needs him more than he needs Putin. That is a mistake, because while Assad is plan A Putin always has a plan B.

Maybe this pullout was intended to be a tune up on Assad.

You know Putin has no time for fools who think they are smarter than he is.



Lessons must be given, as Erdoğan as well found out.
 
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annata

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Putkin not pulling out

Russia is not pulling its military forces out of Syria as announced by President Vladimir Putin with much fanfare last month.

To the contrary, Russia has brought in advanced attack helicopters and its jet fighters continue to help its client, Syrian President Bashar Assad, take back territory from anti-government rebels and the Islamic State terror army.

“There’s been a slight reduction in numbers but they still retain significant capability in Syria,” said Army Col. Steven Warren, spokesman for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria.

On March 14, Mr. Putin announced his military, which operates an air base in western Syria, was leaving.

“I think that the task that was assigned to the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces as a whole has achieved its goal, and so I order the defense minister to start tomorrowwithdrawing the main part of our military factions from the Syrian Arab Republic,” Mr. Putin said.

Asked on Friday if the Russians were exiting, Col. Warren answered, “No.”
Putin is not pulling Russian forces out of Syria, despite his pledge: U.S. military - Washington Times
 
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