: Did Putin use Syria as a training ground for Russian Air and Naval Forces?
Politics19:53 Mar. 15, 2016

Did Putin use Syria as a training ground for Russian Air and Naval Forces?

Putin's Endgame in Syria: Security analyst Colonel Glen Grant explains Russia's surprise withdrawal

"Putin's goal in Syria was to prepare for something else. So the inevitable question is: what is that ‘something else'?" asks Glen Grant, Strategy lecturer at Riga Business School in Latvia.

The British security and intelligence analyst elaborates on what he believes have been Russian President Vladimir Putin's motives in Syria all along.

1. Train Air and Naval Forces
2. Expand Russia's position and power in the world

Read also Reaction to Russian Withdrawal in Syria: 'Putin needs to stand with the people not the dictator'

"He's now in a much stronger position than he was ever in before going to Syria in terms of military ability", with Russia's military pull back, Grant stresses Putin is in a "winning position"

"He's achieved what he wanted and now he's pulling back with his ‘treasures'- the troops and battle ready equipment", Grant says.

Read also U.N. hopes Russian pullback will help peaceful transition in Syria

On Monday, March 14, many Western leaders were left guessing after Putin said he would be withdrawing Russia's ‘main' forces from Syria. Even Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was caught off guard- he reportedly received a phone call letting him know of the decision just hours before the rest of the world found out.

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