The Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev stated that preparations for the withdrawal of the Russian military group from Syria were well under way.
As Gazeta.ru news website writes, Patrushev clarified that the pullout would take place "when ready". Earlier, the General Staff had already stated that Russia might reduce its military forces in Syria before the end of the year.
At the same time, the Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov stressed that the ceasefire monitoring center, two military bases and "a number of necessary structures to keep the situation under control" will remain in the country. The media confirmed that Gerasimov was referring to a contingent needed to protect the sites in Khmeimim and Tartus, as well as military police units and advisers.