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Russia Mulls Reducing Its Military Presence in Syria

Russia Mulls Reducing Its Military Presence in Syria

Russia's military campaign objectives "have been nearly accomplished", according to an influential lawmaker.

Key players in Syria's war are meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, for talks aimed at implementing a lasting ceasefire agreement and potentially paving the way for a political settlement.

On October 24, Shoigu said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers' Meeting that Daesh controls less than 5 percent of Syrian territory.

In September 2015, Russian Federation launched an aerial campaign in Syria in what Moscow claimed was an offensive to defeat terrorist forces in the country, including the "Islamic State" militant group and al-Qaeda.

"This matter is still being discussed", Aleksandr Lavrentyev told reporters after the first day of Syrian peace negotiations that reconvened in Astana, Kazakhstan, on October 30.

The seventh global meeting on Syria, now underway in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana, kicked on Monday with the aim to reach agreements between the negotiating parties on the two issues that have not been finalized during the previous six rounds - exchange of prisoners and demining conflict zones.

Last week, the UN's chief negotiator, Staffan de Mistura, announced the resumption of peace talks in Geneva on November 28, saying he hoped talks in Astana will "prevent further unraveling of interim de-escalation and cease-fire arrangements". The meeting was organised by Russian Federation and Iran, who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and Turkey, which backs the opposition.

More than 100,000 people have been detained inside war-torn Syria since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, according to a London-based NGO.

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