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    Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (C) walks surrounded by security officers

    Russian Pullout From Syria 'Positive Step' - Saudi Arabia

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    King of Saudi Arabia said that withdrawal of the main continent of Russian forces after broadly completing counterterrorist objectives in Syria is a "positive step".

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The withdrawal of the main continent of Russian forces after broadly completing counterterrorist objectives in Syria is a "positive step," the king of Saudi Arabia said at a cabinet session on Monday.

    "The Cabinet considered the partial withdrawal of Russian troops as a positive step, expressing hope that this withdrawal contributes to accelerating the pace of the political process," King Salman bin Abdulaziz said as quoted by the state Saudi Press Agency.

    A bulk of Russia’s air groups returned to their home bases at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s March 14 orders, nearly six months after launching a Syria mission against Daesh and Nusra Front jihadist groups, banned in Russia.

    The remaining assets have been tasked with monitoring the recent cessation of hostilities between Syrian government and rebel forces, described by observers and stakeholders as largely holding despite violations.

    Russian combat aircraft continue to conduct up to 25 daily sorties in support of Syrian ground forces involved in the liberation of Palmyra, the Russian general staff said late last week.

    Extremist groups are not part of the truce negotiated between Russia and the United States that came into effect on February 27.

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    withdrawal, Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, Syria
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