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Russian President Vladimir Putin praised his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Thursday for deciding to withdraw American troops from the battlefield in Syria, alleging that the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group has been defeated and thus there is no compelling reason for American military action there.
Putin made his remarks during a three-hour-long press conference touching on a variety of topics, a practice that has become an end of year tradition for the Russian leader.
US - President - Putin - Reporters - News
“I agree with the U.S. president by and large,” Putin told reporters, according to Russian news agency TASS. “We’ve achieved considerable changes in the struggle against terrorism in that area and dealt severe blows to the Islamic State in Syria.”
Putin went on to say that an American presence in Syria is “not necessary” and “not legitimate,” since dictator Bashar al-Assad did not invite American troops to participate in the civil war there. “Let us not forget that the presence of U.S. troops in Syria is not legitimate … a military contingent can stay there only under a U.N. resolution or at the invitation of Syria’s legitimate government.”
Decision - Contingent - Putin
“If it is true that it has made a decision to pull out its military contingent, it is correct,” Putin concluded.
Putin attempted to contrast the presence of U.S. troops in Syria with that of the Russian troops, insisting that Russia has a compelling reason to stay in Syria because Islamic State terrorists fleeing the Syrian battlegrounds could reach countries like Afghanistan, where they would be perilously close to the Russian border. “That is a major threat for all of us,” Putin noted.
Civil - War - Assad - Alawite - Shiite
The Syrian Civil War began in 2011 after Assad, an Alawite Shiite Muslim, began using state violence to suppress protests against his continued leadership of the country. While once fought between Assad’s forces and Syrian rebels, many of which are...
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