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Moscow likely to reduce troops in Syria: Top general

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov (C) watch the Zapad-2017 war games, held by Russian and Belarussian servicemen, at a military training ground in the Leningrad region, Russia, on September 18, 2017.
SOCHI: The size of the military force that Russia has in Syria is likely to be reduced, the chief of the general staff of the armed forces said on Thursday.
Russia’s military support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, notably through airstrikes, has been crucial in defeating Daesh and Syrian opposition forces.
“God will decide how it (a reduction in the size of the military force) will happen, but probably it will happen,” Valery Gerasimov told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and military top brass in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Gerasimov refused to elaborate on the dates and scale of the possible troop drawdown.
In March last year, Putin said Russia had achieved its goals in Syria and ordered the withdrawal of the “main part” of its forces.
However, the US-led coalition operating in Syria said that after his statement on the troop withdrawal Russia’s combat power was largely intact. :
Russia's Defense Ministry said on Thursday long-range bombers had carried out air strikes on Daesh targets in Deir Ezzor province, the RIA news agency reported.

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