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By Mazen, Syrian Arab News Agency, 14 March 2016

Presidency of Syrian Arab Republic: “Decision of decreasing number of Russian forces taken in coordination between Syria and Russia”

Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirmed that Syria and Russian are still committed to combating terrorism wherever it was in Syria.

“We received many questions and inquires since the announcement of the phone call between President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin about what has been circulated by some media institutions which are partners in shedding the Syrian blood and some social websites and internet for a group of strange stories and interpretations which are away from reality,” the Presidency said in a statement published on its page on Facebook.

The Presidency added that all those stories talk about “a Syrian-Russian dispute” which has led to the decision of decreasing the forces or that it is a Russian abandonment of combating terrorism in Syria.

The Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that the step has been taken through full coordination between the Syrian and Russian sides, adding that this step was studied with care and accuracy in light of the latest field developments, the last of which is the cessation of hostilities.

The Presidency also affirms that Syria and Russia were and still are committed to combating terrorism in a joint way.


Presidents al-Assad and Putin agree to decrease number of Russian Air Forces in Syria

The Syrian and Russian sides agreed, during a telephone call between President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to decrease the number of the Russian air forces in Syria.

“After the successes achieved by the Syrian Arab Army, in cooperation with the Russian air force in combating terrorism and the restoration of security and stability to many regions in Syria, with an increase in reconciliations in the country… the Syrian and Russian sides agreed, during a phone call between Presidents Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin to decrease the number of the Russian air forces in Syria to cope with the current field stage and the continuation of the cessation of hostilities,” Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic said in a statement published on its page on Facebook.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, the Kremlin announced that Presidents al-Assad and Putin discussed during a phone call the process of applying “the cessation of hostilities” in Syria.

“The two sides expressed in a joint point of view that the cessation of hostilities has contributed to a sharp retreat in the bloodshed in Syria and an improvement in the humanitarian situation in the country, preparing suitable conditions for the start of the political settlement process under the auspices of the United Nations,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Presidents al-Assad and Putin pointed out that “the task of the Russian air force has allowed for achieving a turning- point in combating terrorism, dissociating its infrastructure and inflicting it heavy losses in personnel.”

The statement noted that the Russian air forces have carried out the main missions they were empowered for, and agreement has been done to withdraw the largest part of the Russian warplane group from Syria with keeping a center that guarantees flights in Syria to observe the provisions of cessation of hostilities in Syria.

“President al-Assad has hailed, during the phone call, the professionalism and heroism of the Russian officers and soldiers who participated in the combat tasks, thanking Russia for its great contribution to combating terrorism and offering humanitarian aid to the Syrians,” the Kremlin said.

It added that President al-Assad “reiterated Syria’s readiness to start the political process as soon as possible”, hoping “the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva would give tangible outcomes.”

In the same context, the Kremlin said that President Putin held a tripartite meeting with Russian Foreign and Defense Ministers, instructing Minister of Defense to start withdrawing the main part of “the Russian military group” from the Syrian Arab Republic as of Tuesday after it has fulfilled the mission it was commissioned with.

“All outcomes of the tripartite meeting have been done in coordination with President al-Assad,” the Kremlin added.

Omran al-Zoubi-20150908

Information Minister: Coordination between Syria, Russia against terrorism is still in its highest level

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said on Monday that coordination between Syria and Russia against terrorism is still in its highest level and it will remain so.

“The friends in Russia are fully committed to combating terrorism,” Al-Zoubi said during a telephone call with the Syrian TV commenting on an agreement to decrease the number of Russian air forces in Syria.

He added “in light of the advances gained by the Syrian army in many regions and the cessation of hostilities as well as the start of local reconciliations in a lot of areas, and for reasons which are related to other sides at the Russian military field leadership, the decision was taken in coordination and agreement between the Syrian and Russian leaderships, no more, no less.”

Minister al-Zoubi affirmed that those were the real and essential reasons behind that step, saying that the Syrian Arab army is committed to “the cessation of hostilities” agreement and will respond to any breaches, so, there is no change in the political or military side in the relation between Syria and Russia.


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By Mazen, Syrian Arab News Agency, 14/3/2016, 1 - 2 - 3
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