December 20, 2018 / 11:25 AM / a month ago

Russia's Putin agrees with Trump that Islamic State defeated in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during annual news conference in Moscow, Russia December 20, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he largely agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump that Islamic State had been defeated, but added that he was skeptical whether the United States would withdraw fully from Syria.

Trump said on Wednesday that the United States had defeated the radical Islamist militant group in Syria, and that this fulfilled the only goal for keeping U.S. troops in the country.

Putin said Moscow had not noted any signs of a U.S. withdrawal, and that the United States had many times said it was leaving Afghanistan, but still retained a presence there.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya, Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber and Andrew Osborn; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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