Russia has started to cut back its forces in Syria, beginning with an aircraft carrier group, Russian state news agency TASS reported Friday.
It is not clear if the Kuznetsov's warplanes will leave with it or if any will stay behind in Latakia, Syria.
The reported initial withdrawal of forces come as a nationwide ceasefire -- negotiated between Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government as well as Iran and Syrian rebel groups late last year -- largely holds across the country, according to the United Nations.
Russia's air strikes since 2015 in support of the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been crucial in helping them to gain the upper hand in the long-running conflict and pushing rebel fighters from the key city of Aleppo in December.
The decision to cut Russia's military presence in Syria was made by Putin at the recommendation of his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on December 29, according to Russia's state-run agency Sputnik.
"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," Gerasimov reportedly said.
The warships led by the Kuznetsov left Russia on October 15, headed for the Syrian coast.
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