Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual press conference on Thursday supported United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out military from Syria.
In the year-end conference, Putin agreed with Trump that ISIS had been defeated in Syria and stated that it was time for Washington to move out of the war-torn nation, reported CNN.
Putin said, “As for defeating ISIS, I do generally agree with the President of the United States. We have struck major blows and advances. There are now concerns that those terror groups can infiltrate neighbouring countries and pose a risk to Russia, the US, Europe, and Central Asia.”
He further reiterated that if the decision was made to withdraw troops from Syria then it is a correct one, adding that the United Nations had not legitimized the US’ intervention in Syria.
Expressing scepticism about the withdrawal of troops from Syria, Putin said, “As far as the withdrawal of US troops is concerned, I really don’t understand what it’s about because the US has been present for some 17 years in Afghanistan. They’re (the US) still talking about withdrawing them, but they haven’t done it yet.”
Trump on Wednesday had hinted that the US troops will be withdrawn from Syria.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Trump had tweeted on Wednesday, after which a US Defence official told CNN that planning is underway to pull the 2,000-strong troops out of the country.
After the US announcement, it has been speculated that a lack of American troops in Syria will give rise to the influence of Russia and Iran in the region.
The US troops aligned with the Syrian Kurds to push back the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Syria where fighting has been ongoing since 2011, according to Al Jazeera. Trump had, in April this year, claimed that he would “love” to get out of Syria at a joint conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron in the White House.