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Russian Armed Forces begin Syria withdrawal with Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

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Russia has started the withdrawal of its naval group in Syria led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier after they completed their initial task.

Russia’s Armed Forces has begun with withdrawal of a Northern Fleet carrier group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy carrier as a part of planned reduction of their military presence in Syria, the chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff said Friday.

“In accordance with the decision of Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, the Defense Ministry is beginning to reduce the Armed Forces grouping in Syria,” Gen. Valery Gerasimov told reporters.

Gerasimov said the withdrawal begins with the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov, the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser and auxiliary ships. He added that the nationwide ceasefire in Syria took effect at midnight local time on December 30 (22:00 GMT on December 29). The decision to cut Russia’s military presence in the Syria was made by Putin at the recommendation of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on December 29.

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Man injures several people with knife in Munich, a perpetrator still at large

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An unidentified man attacked several people with a knife at the Rosennheimer Platz in Munchen, Germany. The perpetrator is on the run. According to local media reports, nobody was seriously injured in the attack.

The police asked residents to stay away from the scene.

“We are looking for the perpetrator with all available police forces,” the officials said. “Residents should not leave their houses.”

According to police data, ta perpetratoris a 40-year-old man last seen wearing gray pants and a green training jacket.

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Israel Will Never Allow Iran’s Bases in Syria

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The Israeli Prime minister met with the Russian defense minister to discuss the situation in Syria, as well as the Iran nuclear deal in light of the US decision not to certify the agreement. Israel would not allow Iran’s permanent military presence in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said during talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, adding that Tehran “must understand this.”

Commenting on the agenda of his meeting with Shoigu, the Israeli prime minister said that the talks were dedicated to “above all, Iran’s attempts to establish military bases in Syria.”

Netanyahu earlier stated Israel “will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces.”
The Russian Defense Ministry is yet to comment on Israel’s concerns over Iran’s actions in Syria. Commeting on the negotiations, the Russian deputy defense minister has said that Shoigu and Netanyahu had “expressed confidence that the meetings held on the Israeli soil will give an additional impetus to the development of Russian-Israeli cooperation.”

Israel has been long opposing Iran’s and Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s presence in Syria. Iran has been providing support to the Syrian government in its fight against various terrorist groups, including Daesh, and acts alongside Russia and Turkey as one of the guarantor states of the ceasefire in Syria. Tehran has repeatedly refuted media reports claiming that its military had conducted independent operations in Syria.

During his September meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce missiles allegedly aiming to eradicate Israel. When asked to comment on the statement, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow has “no information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel.”

Iran Nuclear Deal

The Israeli prime minister and the Russian defense minister have also discussed the US president’s decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu has reiterated Tel Aviv’s stance, warning of Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons if the deal isn’t changed. During his UNGA speech in September, Netanyahu has again addressed the threat Israel believes Iran poses to its security. According to him, the nuclear deal with Iran must be changed or canceled entirely.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly voiced support for Israel’s stance on the nuclear agreement, calling it a “bad deal for Israel.”

On October 16, Trump suggested that Washington might unilaterally exit the agreement despite Rex Tillerson’s earlier comments, saying that the United States will try to negotiate the agreement, which is, according to him, in the best interests of his country.

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