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Putin declares victory in Syria during visit to air base

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday made a surprise visit to Russia’s Hemeimeem air base in Syria, announcing an imminent drawdown of Russian forces in the wake of his declaration of victory in its intervention in the Syria war. In his first visit to the air base since Russian warplanes secretly flew to Syria in late 2015, Putin ordered his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, to begin the “withdrawal of Russian troop contingents” to their permanent bases. But Putin left open the door to a continued Russian presence in Syria, saying that both Russia’s air base at Hemeimeem and naval base at Tartus would keep operating.

Article by By Andrew Roth (c) Page One News - Read full story here.