13:01 GMT16 January 2021
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    Russian Jets Withdraw From Syria (72)

    Russia has wrapped up its military operation in Syria but its political clout in the region hasn’t gone anywhere, Markus Kaim, a German Middle East expert said.

    When asked about the reason behind Moscow’s decision to pull out its forces from Syria, Markus Kaim said that Russia had fully achieved its military and political goals in the Arab country.

    “Russia has reclaimed its ‘big player’ role in the region as someone you need to talk about a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria,” he said in an interview with the German television news service Tagesschau.

    Markus Kaim also said that Russia’s presence in Syria had prompted a major shift in Washington’s policy towards Moscow.

    Just a few months ago President Barack Obama was making light of Russia’s foreign policy only to realize that there was no way Russia could be excluded from the process of resolving international conflicts.

    “Therefore, the White House was left with no option other than to acknowledge Russia’s importance,” Markus Kaim emphasized, adding that Moscow would retain its leverage even with the bulk of its aerial forces withdrawn from Syria.

    “Russia is not losing anything… Moreover, it retains its leverage, including military,” Markus Kaim said.

    On Monday, President Vladimir Putin indicated that the Kremlin would start withdrawing its main forces in Syria, saying that the military had largely achieved its objectives.

    Moscow will, however, maintain a military presence in the Arab country, and a deadline for complete withdrawal has not yet been announced.

    Putin also indicated that Russian forces will remain at the port of Tartus and Hmeymim airbase in Latakia.

    Russian Jets Withdraw From Syria (72)


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