Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial pullout of Russian forces from Syria. The move comes as UN-brokered peace talks resume in Geneva. Russia began carrying out air strikes in Syria more than five months ago.
The US has classified China and Russia as its main military competitors in a strategy document. Moscow has dismissed Washington's defense policy as "imperialist," while China said it represented a "Cold War mentality."
The Turkish defense minister has announced the beginning of a military offensive against the Syrian Kurdish held enclave of Afrin. The YPG, a Kurdish militia that has received US support, vowed to defend its territories.
At least 30 civilians, including children, have been killed in shelling attacks and airstrikes in the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta. A monitor has said a majority of the strikes were carried out by Russian jets.
More than two years after joining the conflict, the Russian president has announced Moscow's partial departure. But he warned that "if terrorists again raise their head," Russia will deliver strikes "they haven't seen."
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