Pullout or pulling a fast one?:
One thing about Putin: The man likes to keep us on our toes. Six months ago, he suddenly sent his troops into Syria. Now, just as suddenly, he's announced he's bringing his boys back home
. This could mean one of two things: Putin's now confident in the Syrian regime's ability to go it alone in crushing the rebels. Or he wants to pressure Syrian Prez Assad into negotiating in peace talks
. Or both. There could be a third reason: Russia's economy is in the crapper, thanks to falling oil prices, and now's not the time for expensive war games. This doesn't mean curtains for Assad. He still has the support of the Iranians and Hezbollah. Plus Russia's keeping an air base in Syria.