Russia's President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. During a surprise visit to a Syrian airbase, he said their task had been largely fulfilled. Putin then travelled to Egypt and Turkey.
President Assad has promised that anyone who left the army or fled compulsory service will not be prosecuted. Under normal circumstances, desertion is met with a yearslong prison sentence.
Russia's Vladimir Putin has taken a more conciliatory tone, after his Defense Ministry held Israel "completely" accountable for a jet shot down over Syria. Putin spoke of "a chain of tragic accidental circumstances."
The demilitarized buffer zone in the Syrian city of Idlib may be established on Monday — if Damascus and the rebels stick to the agreement. DW explains the key points.
Russia and Turkey's deal to demilitarize the battle lines around Idlib has been moved on a step. A buffer zone is intended to separate Syrian troops from rebel fighters, and prevent a full-scale assault on the city.
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