The Russians will begin reducing the size of their military forces in Syria significantly said Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian military General Staff. And he says that it could begin as early as the end of 2017.

Russia’s military support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, notably through air strikes, has been crucial in defeating Islamic State and Syrian opposition forces.

“There is very little left to do before the completion of military objectives. Of course, a decision will be made by the supreme commander-in-chief and the deployment will be reduced,” Valery Gerasimov told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and military top brass in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Gerasimov said forces would likely be “substantially” reduced but leave Russia with two military bases, a ceasefire-monitoring center and “a number of necessary structures to support the situation which has developed” in Syria.

Russian President Putin had previously stated that the Russians had met their goals in Syria and now that they were moving from a military solution to Syria’s problems to a political one.

The Syrian civil war has been going for several years, and now the question is, will the US continue to support the peshmerga fighters once the threat of ISIS and the Islamic State is removed?

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