Russian president: Moscow to continue fight against terror, including in Syria, if necessary

FNA – Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Moscow will continue its fight against terrorism, including within Syrian territory, if it is necessary.

“You mentioned Syria. … There is no need for such a widespread use of the Russian armed forces in Syria, as it was before, although we have two stationing sites, and we, of course, will continue the fight against terrorism, including in the territory of Syria, if necessary we will work there selectively,” Putin said at the meeting with the chairpersons of the Russian Federal Assembly’s chambers, Sputnik reported.

The president reiterated that even if the Russian armed forces continues anti-terrorism activities in Syria, the scale of its engagement would be much smaller than before.

“But, I repeat, not as it was before, with such a wide use of all components of our armed forces. That is why the withdrawal took place, since so much equipment and personnel are no longer required there. At least not required now,” Putin added.

Putin in mid-December ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria after conducting an anti-terrorist aerial campaign for over two years.

The decision on the pullout came after Putin announced the complete destruction of ISIL along both banks of the Euphrates River, stressing that the Syrian and Russian operation in the area ended with the complete “routing of the terrorists.”