“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,”Putin said on Monday during a meeting with Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"In a short period of time Russia has created a small but very effective military group [in Syria]... the effective work of our military allowed the peace process to begin," Putin said, adding that with the assistance of the Russian Air Force "Syrian government troops and patriotic forces have changed the situation in the fight with international terrorism and have ceased the initiative."
Russia plans to keep their naval base in Tartus and the Khmeimim airbase in Latakia operational with military forces and will continue supporting the Syrian forces with airstrikes. Russian airstrikes & advising support have helped the Syrian government to be moved into a position where they are currently stable and not at risk of falling and can now begin negotiations with some rebel groups.