Russia’s top general said Friday his country would draw down its military presence in Syria, starting with a withdrawal of its warships from the eastern Mediterranean.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia’s general staff, said Russia would withdraw the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov from the waters off the coast of Syria. The ships deployed with the carrier in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will also be withdrawn, he said.

Whether the reduction in the number of ships also means an overall decrease in Russian firepower in the region or a scaling back of its military campaign in Syria wasn’t known. […]