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Putin Orders ‘Main Part’ of Russian Army to Start Syria Pullout

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chadskin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered his military to start the withdrawal of the main part of Russia's forces from Syria, saying that the Russian military intervention had largely achieved its objectives.

Putin, at a meeting in the Kremlin with his defense and foreign ministers, said the pullout should start from Tuesday. He also ordered that Russia intensify its role in the peace process to end the conflict in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had telephoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to inform him of the Russian decision.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-pullout-idUSKCN0WG23C
 

pulsemyne

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The russians have been mildly pissed off with Assad lately as he just refuses to go. While they want the regime to remain in power they do see Assad as the main obstacle to that. The rebels want him go as a sacrifice before they hammer out a peace deal (and can thus claim it was all worth it as they go rid of assad). Even in the past the russians have recognised this (Putin famously asked him to go and he said no).
While the russians will be unlikely to remove all their abilities from the region this is likely being done to pressure Assad into taking peace talks seriously. The lastest round of negotiations apparently pissed off a lot of the powers involved due to the regime messing about.
Also the last thing russia needs is to involved in another conflict that costs them men and resources. They are still embroiled in Ukraine after all.
Meanwhile if your the mental turkish government then this is news to your ears.
 

AmyS

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Aug 22, 2012
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As far as the major media this really IS worthy of "BREAKING NEWS". It's pretty huge.
 

TheRealTalker

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Mar 29, 2013
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Rumors that the Saudi King is going to visit Moscow this month, coincidence? I think not!

the Saudis are now more buddy, buddy with the Houthis too (after the recent secret Riyadh talks)... weird stuff

then again Putin has been asking Salman to visit Moscow for some time now
 

chadskin

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May 27, 2013
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Someone needs to post that GWB picture of "Mission Accomplished!" but with Putin's face on there...


via https://twitter.com/darthputinkgb/status/709440060786081792
 
Sep 1, 2013
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They are in a big offensive in Palmyra right now, if that city falls there is nothing between them and Deir ez-Zor . I can see why Putin would think things are going his way.

the Saudis are now more buddy, buddy with the Houthis too (after the recent secret Riyadh talks)... weird stuff

then again Putin has been asking Salman to visit Moscow for some time now



Yemen has been a disaster for Saudi Arabia, they are in peace talks right now, they want out.
 

Nivash

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Nov 13, 2013
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They are in a big offensive in Palmyra right now, if that city falls there is nothing between them and Deir ez-Zor . I can see why Putin would think things are going his way.

If that's the case it just points even more to them wanting to run this on a shoestring budget. You don't have a bunch of your forces start to retreat and stand down right before a decisive offensive unless you absolutely have to for some reason. It's either that, or the offensive won't be as decisive as it's been claimed and Russia has been forced to conclude that it's not possible for Assad to secure a total victory.

This is very surprising either way. It certainly smells of being due to information or circumstances that Russia doesn't feel like sharing.
 

Spoiled Milk

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Jun 7, 2013
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"Putin Pulls Out of Middle East to Avoid Expensive Liability in the Future"

Putin has announced he will pull out of the country of Syria to avoid an unwanted liability. At press time, Vladimir stated that his reasons were many. One was a lack of protection; Syria is a dangerous region, and without more serious precautions, it could be very risky to stay inside [the area]. Furthermore, Putin really didn't know Syria well enough that it would be justified to stay inside. It would be an "awkward situation", and perhaps one that was not communicated well enough. After all, despite some initial conversations, Syria never explicitly stated that it wants Russia to remain inside for the duration of the engagement and "finish the job". Russia had only considered a temporary engagement and so a prolonged one would necessitate Syria to puruse some kind of Plan B.

Another consideration was Russia's budget. Russia had taken a large revenue hit due to decreases in oil prices. If Russia had stayed inside and was "unlucky", then Russia would end up with something it "really could not afford right now. I mean, maybe in the future, like the waaaaaaay future, but I don't think it's going to happen in this point of our history, what with the economy and instability."

Putin stated that he had not actually asked Bashar al-Assad if he should pull out. "I kind of just told [him]. I'm not going to let anybody just rope me into something I might not want or can even afford. I mean, shit! I don't care if it makes [Syria] feel great [about their security]. Nobody has the right to make Bad Vlad do something he doesn't want! Or isn't ready for."

Asked if there are other countries he would feel differently about, he admitted that there are a few countries that he had visited recently that he would much prefer to "commit to". "I've just been thinking about our future lately and it seems to me that I should focus more on those other countries. And if we ended up penetrating [their hearts] I would not consider it a bad thing to just leave some soldiers inside."

"But that doesn't mean Syria is a bad place. We have a lot of history, and I cherish that."
 

Lord_Byron28

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On one hand I'm glad they are pulling out of the region. On the other hand I can't think of anything they really accomplished other than further destroying Syria.
 

klonere

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Dropped loads of bombs, left cluster munitions everywhere, killed a bunch of civilians, secured Assads territory, leave. Mission accomplished.

Wonder how that ISIS propaganda machine is going to spin the Russians leaving.
 
Dec 11, 2012
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On one hand I'm glad they are pulling out of the region. On the other hand I can't think of anything they really accomplished other than further destroying Syria.
Aside from completely turn the tide in the battle, yeah.

Apparently, some people in the US administration predicted Assad would fall by October last year.

And ISIS has done a number on several cities there... but they get no blame for destroying the country. Pretty weird.
 

Madness

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The operation in Syria wasn't costing much for the Russian military and they have accomplished their aim thoroughly, i don't think anyone can dispute that.

Russia, with both the collapse of the ruble due to sanctions over the Crimea annexation and coupled with ridiculously low oil rates cannot sustain a major military offensive for long periods. They are not the US and not even China where they can do so. This coupled with the fact that Syria is becoming a quagmire of Kurd vs Isis vs Assad vs Turkmen vs west backed rebels means there is no end in sight.

They've bombed the hell out of the Rebels, Turkmen, ISIS enough for Assad to be largely unchallenged. The only issue is that he's just unwilling to leave now. He will no longer have credibility to hold office and Russia just can't keep this up. A decent relationship with Turkey is now on the cusp of both declaring each other enemies due to this. Saudi Arabia and Turkey both stated they were going to start offensive operations. Putin would be smart to wind down now.
 

DirtyManos

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Aug 11, 2012
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Guess he figured with the uneasy ceasefire lasting a little bit, now would be the time to pull out.

Wonder if they're prepared to go back in if Assad's regime is on the verge of collapse again.

Here's an interesting article regarding reasons for this sudden announcement.

TL;DR

Pros for Russia:
Staved off Assad collapse at least temporarily.
Made Russia a power player in the ME again.
Showcase military.

Cons for Russia:
Financial burden was way too much (rebuilt a base and transported tons of equipment only to have to send it back again means they would rather eat the cost now)
Introduction of MANPADS into the theater (Syrian MIG was shot down last week with one); Russia would have to start running complex missions with precision weapons, as opposed to their current cheap cluster/dumb bombs with outdated aircraft.
 

pulsemyne

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The last part is true. Not going to look good to russians when their aircraft start getting shot down. Much better off just calling it quits while your ahead.
 

Simplet

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Aside from completely turn the tide in the battle, yeah.

Apparently, some people in the US administration predicted Assad would fall by October last year.

And ISIS has done a number on several cities there... but they get no blame for destroying the country. Pretty weird.

Yeah nobody ever criticizes Isis, that's really not fair.
 

Mohonky

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Probably better to pull out now then keep throwing no money at it.

Wonder what this will mean for Saudi and co. Time to ramp up?
 
Sep 1, 2013
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Russia, with both the collapse of the ruble due to sanctions over the Crimea annexation and coupled with ridiculously low oil rates cannot sustain a major military offensive for long periods. They are not the US and not even China where they can do so. This coupled with the fact that Syria is becoming a quagmire of Kurd vs Isis vs Assad vs Turkmen vs west backed rebels means there is no end in sight.

They've bombed the hell out of the Rebels, Turkmen, ISIS enough for Assad to be largely unchallenged. The only issue is that he's just unwilling to leave now. He will no longer have credibility to hold office and Russia just can't keep this up. A decent relationship with Turkey is now on the cusp of both declaring each other enemies due to this. Saudi Arabia and Turkey both stated they were going to start offensive operations. Putin would be smart to wind down now.

There is end in sight tho, Aleppo is almost fully retaken by the kurds and the goverment, the Kurds are also advancing towards Deir Ez zor from the north and the goverment is taking Palmyra bit by bit.

Rebels are using the truce to fight each other .

Things should be really different come 2017.
 

Frozenprince

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Sep 26, 2013
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Hopefully Bashar Al-Assad is still tried for war crimes and deposed.

But unfortunately the world don't work that way.
 
Dec 11, 2012
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Hopefully Bashar Al-Assad is still tried for war crimes and deposed.

But unfortunately the world don't work that way.
What works for Bush and Cheyney can work for Assad. It's only "fair".
Maybe this ceasefire will actually hold. Putin seems to think so.
CIA, Turks, Saudis, Qataris might ramp up some serious efforts again with Russian withdrawal. I'm sure the Russians and Syrians know this. That's why I believe there are some behind the scenes deals reached that we don't know about yet. So the ceasefire actually might hold up. I didn't expect it to last this long. I'm not sure what to think right now.
 
Aug 23, 2010
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Florida USA

Am guessing they want this, and it will force Assad to see that Russia could leave him to hang if they wanted to (Which some of us has been saying for some time) which hopefully might make him finally accept to step down in time. They would still leave about 1000 personnel in Syria and some decent amount of equipment but the days of hundreds of strikes every week seems to be over, and that should make Assad scared.
 

ICKE

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Mar 14, 2012
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It definitely is a mission accomplished for Russia.

-Assad's regime stays in power
-Russian military has gained valuable field experience
-There is a perception that Russia is once again a global actor
-Putin has sent a message to his allies that they will be supported if need be

However, given the weak economic situation in Russia, I wonder if we will see more projection of force. These things serve as effective distractions after all.
 
Jun 13, 2011
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It really isn't a funny subject and all but... i just want to point out that i spit out my food over this just now...

Anyways, it's all just speculation as usual, no one REALLY knows why he pulled out except Putin himself. Whether this is actually good or less so for the region is yet to be determined. What a clusterfuck all around though :(
 
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