Putin orders military withdrawal from Syria
President-elect Vladimir Putin speaks in the Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg on April 10, 2012. (AFP/Yana Lapikova)
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the main part of Russia's military forces from Syria on Monday, stating that Russian military intervention had achieved its objectives.
During a meeting in the Kremlin with Russian defense and foreign ministers, Putin announced the withdrawal would take effect from Tuesday. The Russian President added that Russia would have a stronger role in the peace negotiations to end the conflict in Syria.
Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, said Putin had informed embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad of the Russian decision by phone.