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Syria denies any dispute with Moscow behind Russia pulling out forces

Syria on Monday denied any dispute or problem between Moscow and Damascus, against rumors following Russia’s decision to withdraw forces from Syria.

Syria’s presidential media office completely denied the claims on some opposition websites, saying the Russian decision came after complete coordination with the Syrian side.

“It’s a step that has been carefully and precisely studied a while ago and came against the backdrop of the developments on ground, the latest of which was the cessation of hostilities,” an official statement said.

It stressed that “Syria and Russia are still committed, as always, to fighting terrorism jointly anywhere in Syria.”

An hour earlier, state news agency SANA said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed Monday on scaling down presence of Russian air force in Syria, according to state news agency SANA.

In a phone conversation, both leaders agreed to reduce the number of Russian air force in Syria in light of the “current developments on ground,” SANA said.

The report said the decision was made based on the success of the Syrian army and the Russian air force in fighting terrorism and restoring peace and security to many Syrian areas.

It added that the Russian side asserted their continuous support to Syria in the face of terrorism.

Syria Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that anti-terror coordination between Moscow and Damascus is still on its highest levels, and will remain so.

In an interview with a Syrian TV channel, the minister said “the Russian friends are still completely committed to countering terrorism.”

He added that the Russian decision came in coordination and understandings between Moscow and Damascus.

Al-Zoubi attributed the decision to the progress of the Syrian army against the terror groups, the progress on the national reconciliation, and the currently established cessation of hostilities.

He reaffirmed that “there is no change in the political and military relation between Syria and Russia.”

Russia has intervened with its air force in Syria since last September, which, alongside efforts of the Syrian government forces, has largely helped restore several key areas from the rebels’ hands.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-03/15/c_135187935.htm

 

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