Friday, January 20, 2017
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Russia says has begun drawdown of forces in Syria

An air strike in Aleppo.Russia has begun a drawdown of its military forces in Syria, news agencies quoted the head of the Russian General Staff as saying on Friday.

"In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, (President) Vladimir Putin, the Russian Defence Ministry is beginning to reduce its armed forces deployment in Syria," TASS news agency quoted Valery Gerasimov as saying.

Gerasimov said Russia's naval fleet led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which has been operating in the Mediterranean off the Syrian coast, would be the first to return from Syria.

Putin said in December Russia had agreed to reduce its military deployment in Syria under the terms of a ceasefire deal between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government.

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