Putin Says He Wants All Foreign Forces to Eventually Quit Syria

Russia's Putin said that the presence of U.S. forces in Syria violated the UN charter

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, May 17, 2018.
Mikhail Klimentyev, AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow wanted all foreign forces, including the Russian military, to eventually withdraw from Syria.

Putin said that the presence of U.S. forces in Syria violated the UN charter.

Putin says Russian troops will leave Syria when the war is over if the Syrian government asks them to.

Russia entered the Syrian civil war in 2015 to back its longtime ally President Bashar Assad, helping the government retake most of the territory held by rebels. Russia currently operates an air base and a naval base in Syria.

The Kremlin has criticized U.S. military involvement in Syria, saying it is not authorized by the United Nations or by the Syrian government.

Speaking at an energy conference in Moscow, Putin said that all foreign troops should leave Syria when hostilities cease. Asked if Russia would be willing to leave as well, Putin said Russia would withdraw its troops if the Syrian government asks it to.