Vladimir Putin surprised the world when he suddenly started bombing in Syria last September. This week, he surprised the world again when he ordered the "main part" of his military forces out of Syria. The Pentagon says the Russians aren't going away. Long-range missiles and bombs are still falling, and Russia's airbase and naval station are permanent fixtures. For the moment, Putin's surprise move has kept him out of the "quagmire" predicted by President Obama, but his long-range intentions are unclear. His air assaults did enough damage to embolden President Assad to join talks in Geneva, but are Syrians any closer to ending a savage civil war?
Russia's Withdrawal from Syria: Is It Real?
Matthew Rojansky - Wilson Center - @MatthewRojansky, Fred Weir - Christian Science Monitor - @fredweir3, Joshua Landis - University of Oklahoma - @joshua_landis, Hussein Ibish - Arab Gulf States Institute / International New York Times - @Ibishblog