Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a withdrawal of troops from Syria, according to the news agency RIA Novosti. He made the announcement during his short visit to the Russian base in Syria's Khmeimim.
"We will always remember the people that we lost in the fight against terror both here in Syria and back home in Russia. But we will not step back and give way to them. This is not part of our DNA. On the contrary, it will give us extra strength to eradicate the absolute evil of international terrorism whatever disguise it might be using," he said at the base.
Vladimir Putin thanked the Russian troops that are deployed in Syria, praising their "courage, heroism and resolve" and saying they are "returning home with a victory".