Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria during his visit to the Arab country.
According to Russian state news agencies, Putin made the announcement at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.
Accompanied by defence minister Sergey Shoygu, Putin said Russian and Syrian armies had destroyed “one of the most capable groups of international terrorists” in just over two years.
He said the two countries’ forces would respond with power strikes if “terrorists raise their heads” in Syria, The Independent reported.
Putin is expected to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad during his stay in Latakia.
The visit marks Putin’s first trip to Syria and comes as Syrian forces have retaken control over most of their country under Russian air cover.
The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad.