18:35 GMT +315 November 2019
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    McCain: Russia's Withdrawal From Syria Unlikely to End Military Conflict

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    Although Russia has helped bring about a political settlement in Syria, Moscow’s latest announcement to withdraw its air group from the country is unlikely to end the Syrian conflict, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain announced in a statement on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin withdrawing the Russian air group from Syria.

    "Unfortunately, that is what Russia and its proxies have demonstrated in Syria. They have changed the military facts on the ground and created the terms for a political settlement more favorable to their interests," McCain said. "[T]he Syrian conflict will grind on, ISIL [Islamic State] will grow stronger and the refugees will keep coming."

    McCain also criticized the Obama administration for not intervening in Syria, out of the false belief there was "no military solution," effectively allowing Russia to intervene.

    "For four years, the administration stood by as the Assad regime slaughtered nearly half a million people in Syria," McCain claimed. "Then when Assad appeared weak, it watch as Putin intervened militarily and protected his brutal regime."

    Moreover, McCain criticized the Obama administration for rationalizing its inaction by arguing that "Russia would find itself in a quagmire."

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