On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the main part of the country's air forces from Syria, starting from Tuesday, as the objectives its over five-month operation against terrorist groups in Syria had broadly been reached.
"By making the decision to withdraw its forces, Russia stressed that its aim was actually not to support the Syrian authorities, but the fight against terrorism. The problem was almost solved, and Putin announced that there is no need for continued the presence of Russian forces in Syria," Saad, who is also a former assistant foreign minister, told RIA Novosti.
Putin’s announcement has also been welcomed by a number of opposition participants of the intra-Syrian negotiations. A spokesman for the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riyad Agha praised Russia's withdrawal and Samir Aita from the Syrian Democratic Forum opposition party said that Moscow's decision to pull out its troops from Syria is a signal to other foreign forces to leave the country.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and radical Islamists. Russia had been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria since September 30 at Assad's request.