On Monday, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, surprisingly announced his withdrawal of most of the Russian troops in Syria, in an announcement made in a meeting in the Kremlin with the Russian defense and foreign ministers. He claimed that the six-month intervention to strengthen the Assad regime has achieved its goals and is no longer necessary. He is quoted, saying, “I believe that the task put before this defense ministry and Russian armed forces has, on the whole, been fulfilled. With the participation of the Russian military… the Syrian armed forces and patriotic Syrian forces have been able to achieve a fundamental turnaround…” The announcement comes in the wake of Syrian peace talks beginning in Geneva. Many critics worry that President Putin may never follow through with his announcement, while others are hopeful that this is a positive step in finding a solution to the civil war in Syria, which is entering its sixth year.