Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country would be pulling out most of its forces from Syria that backed the government to deal with rebels in the civil war that started as a peaceful street protests five years ago.
The surprising decision of Russia comes amid the United Nations brokering peace talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel representatives in Geneva.
Russia intervened the Syrian civil war six months ago and dealt a grave blow to the rebels. The move of Putin may intensify pressure on Assad to strike a deal with the rebels.
Putin was televised saying on Russian state television in a meeting with his deputies, “I hope that this will considerably increase the level of trust between all parties of the Syrian settlement and will contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Syrian issue.”
A report by Washington Post cited the Russian President saying the intervention has changed the situation on the ground.
Putin added the task of intervention had been achieved and now diplomacy should take over in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has been surprised with the move of Putin.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the decision was made unilaterally and without any related request from the Syrian government.
This mean the support of Russia for Assad government is limited.
Obama is learned to have also had a telephonic discussion with Putin over cease-fire. The discussion was pre-scheduled.
Share your views whether the pulling away of Russian forces may truly pave way to diplomacy talks between Assad and rebels.