US skeptical of Russian withdrawal from Syria

WASHINGTON, March 15 (KUNA) — The US expressed skepticism on Tuesday regarding Russia’s plan to withdraw troops from Syria and work with the international community in creating a political transition in the country.
“Obviously that’s not something that they (Russia) said for the first time yesterday,” said White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest to reporters. “So the question now really is how effectively can the international community coordinate to support these talks.” Russia did not give direct advance notice to the US of its decision to withdraw troops to which Earnest said, “It’s still too early to determine at this point exactly what impact it will have on the broader situation.” The US observed that Russia has removed “less than 10” aircraft from Syria but also conducted airstrikes within the last 24 hours, Pentagon Spokesperson Peter Cook said.
“We have to judge Russia by its actions, not its word, so we’ll see,” said Cook. (end) ak.ibi