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Russia: Troops can be deployed back to Syria 'in mere hours' if necessary - Putin03:41

Russia: Troops can be deployed back to Syria 'in mere hours' if necessary - Putin

Russian Federation, Moscow
March 17, 2016 at 12:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian forces could be redeployed in Syria in a matter of hours if the situation required, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a ceremony honouring staff of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday.

"Of course, if such a need arises, Russia can, in several hours, build up its forces in Syria to a size capable of dealing with an escalating situation and use the entire range of means at its disposal," Putin said, before adding: "We would not like to do it. Military escalation is no our answer and that is why we count on common sense of all sites, on the commitment to peaceful process by both Syrian authorities and opposition forces."

On Monday, Putin ordered Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria starting from Tuesday. Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province in order to control the observation of ceasefire agreements in the region.

Discussing the decision to withdraw the main part of Russia's forces, Putin said: "The decision on the withdrawal of the main part of our military forces was made in accordance with Syrian President Bashar Assad who had been informed about our plans in advance and supported them."

Commenting on the troops that will remain in Syria, the Russian leader noted that their main tasks would focus on "monitoring the compliance of the ceasefire and creating a basis for intra-Syrian political dialogue."

The Russian Air Force began its operations in Syria on September 30, 2015, after receiving an official request for assistance from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian jets have been launching air strikes on strategic and economic targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist targets in Syria.

Russia: Troops can be deployed back to Syria 'in mere hours' if necessary - Putin03:41
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Russian forces could be redeployed in Syria in a matter of hours if the situation required, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a ceremony honouring staff of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday.

"Of course, if such a need arises, Russia can, in several hours, build up its forces in Syria to a size capable of dealing with an escalating situation and use the entire range of means at its disposal," Putin said, before adding: "We would not like to do it. Military escalation is no our answer and that is why we count on common sense of all sites, on the commitment to peaceful process by both Syrian authorities and opposition forces."

On Monday, Putin ordered Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria starting from Tuesday. Moscow will keep its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province in order to control the observation of ceasefire agreements in the region.

Discussing the decision to withdraw the main part of Russia's forces, Putin said: "The decision on the withdrawal of the main part of our military forces was made in accordance with Syrian President Bashar Assad who had been informed about our plans in advance and supported them."

Commenting on the troops that will remain in Syria, the Russian leader noted that their main tasks would focus on "monitoring the compliance of the ceasefire and creating a basis for intra-Syrian political dialogue."

The Russian Air Force began its operations in Syria on September 30, 2015, after receiving an official request for assistance from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian jets have been launching air strikes on strategic and economic targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist targets in Syria.

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