Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valeri Gerasimov made a surprise visit to Syria, holding talks with President Bashar al-Assad and the country’s top defense officials, at the Russian military command center.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Putin “rode through the streets of Damascus” on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city’s airport.
Syrian and Russian presidents listened to reports by military officials on the conditions on the ground in Syria.
Putin told Assad that “the signs of peaceful life are visible to the naked eye on the streets of Damascus,” Peskov said. The Rusian leader added that “a huge distance has been passed on the way to restoring Syria’s statehood and territorial integrity.”
The previous Putin’s visit to Syria took place in 2017 when he inspected Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in Syria and also met with President al-Assad.
It should be noted that the visit of the top Russian delegation to Syria came amid the large-scale escalation of the Iranian-US conflict and ahead of Putin’s planned visit to Turkey, where he will meet President Recept Erdogan.
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