MOSCOW — The Tass news agency says that Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived at a Russian military air base in Syria.
Tass said that Putin’s plane landed at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia, the heartland of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Alawite minority.
Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russia troops from Syria, according to Russian outlet RIA Novosti.
The visit marks Putin’s first trip to Syria and comes as Assad’s forces have retaken control over most of Syria under the Russian air cover.
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The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad.
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The Associated Press