US Plans Uncertain, But Russia Also Looks to Exit Syria

Russian warplanes start leaving Syria as war wraps up

The US withdrawal in Syria changes so often that even close US allies, like France, can’t make heads or tails of what, exactly, the plan is. The plan involves at least removing some US troops from Syria.

After months of changing their mind, Russia might actually be getting ahead of the US on this,with the first Russian warplanes sent out of Syria and back to Russia this week. Russian MPs say that their active military role is nearing an end, because their mission is virtually complete.

While Russia is keen to see Syria retake the Idlib Province from al-Qaeda, it does not appear to be such a high priority for Russia that it would convince them to stay militarily involved in the war. They are likely confident that Syria’s government, with no real threat to its continued survival, can handle this much themselves.

This is starkly different from the US policy, where they recognized ISIS was virtually defeated, announced a pullout, and then feverishly backpedaled away from that on the grounds that they might come up with other military goals in Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of