It remains to be seen whether the diplomats in Geneva can somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and find a way to prolong the bloodshed and violence.
by James Corbett
The International Forecaster
Russian President Vladimir Putin caught the world off guard on Monday by announcing the withdrawal of “the main part” of Russian armed forces in Syria as a new round of peace talks kick off in Geneva.
[…] Although the withdrawal will not effect Russian troops at the Russian Naval Base at Tartus or the Hemeieem airbase in Latakia, it will involve the removal of those forces that were sent last September in what was then an equally surprising move to turn the tide of the conflict decisively in favour of the Syrian Army.
Announcing the withdrawal of “the main part of our military contingent” from Syria, Putin stated: “The effective work of our military created the conditions for the start of the peace process. I believe that the task put before the defense ministry and Russian armed forces has, on the whole, been fulfilled.”
The move comes just as the first peace talks in over two years begin in Geneva, and appear to have taken everyone by surprise. A member of the terrorist insurgency fighting to overthrow Syrian President Assad was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Nobody knows what is in Putin’s mind.”