President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial pull-out of his forces from Syria as he visited a Russian military air base in the country.
Mr Putin was on en route to Egypt when a stopover was made at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.
The base has been used as the main foothold for Russia’s military campaign in Syria and is in the heartlands of president Bashar Assad’s Alawite minority.
In a speech to Russian troops, Mr Putin said he had ordered the withdrawal of a “significant part” of the Russian military in Syria.
In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, he added:
“…if the terrorists again raise their heads, we will deal such blows to them they have never seen”.
Syrian state TV have said Mr Assad met up with Mr Putin at the air base in Syria before the announcement was made.
The visit marks Mr Putin’s first trip to Syria and comes as Assad’s forces have retaken control over most of Syria.