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Putin Says Russia Withdrew Many Troops, Aircraft From Syria


Russian military police stand on a highway outside Damascus last month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says more than 1,000 military personnel and dozens of aircraft have been withdrawn from Syria over the past several days.

Speaking at a ceremony for military-college graduates in the Kremlin on June 28, Putin said the withdrawal continues.

"Thirteen planes, fourteen helicopters, and 1,140 personnel have left [Syria] in the past few days alone," Putin said.

Russia has conducted a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping reverse the course of the seven-year civil war in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's favor.

Putin initially ordered the start of "the withdrawal of the main part of our military contingent" from Syria in March 2016, but there were few signs of a pullout after that announcement.

In December, Putin again ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, but since that time fighting has flared up again among various warring factions.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti and Interfax
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