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Putin says all illegal forces must leave Syria amid Kurdish-Damascus deal


Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that all foreign forces must leave the Syria.

In his first statement following the US withdrawal and the Kurds striking a deal with Damascus, Putin said “there is always hope. Do not ever give it up. I can only agree with you that all the forces deployed illegitimately inside any sovereign state – in this case, Syria – must leave,” he was quoted as speaking to Arabic media.

“This is true for everyone. If Syria’s new legitimate government chooses to say that they have no more need for Russia’s military presence, this will be just as true for Russia.”

However, Putin said he would also discuss this with Iran and Turkey, and stressed that the “territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic must be completely restored.”

On Monday, the Kremlin reportedly suggested they do not want to entertain the possibility of a clash in Syria between Russian and Turkish forces and are in regular contact with Ankara.