Syrian President Bashar Assad held a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday.
“At the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu paid a working visit to Damascus, Syria, on September 12 to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to TASS. “The sides discussed current issues of military technical cooperation in the context of successful actions of Syrian government forces with the backing of the Russian aerospace force to exterminate the terrorist group Islamic State [ISIS] in Syria.“
The sides also discussed issues of stabilization of the situation in Syria, de-escalation zones and humanitarian aid to the local population.
The Syrian state-run media outlet SANA added that President Assad and the Russian defense minister “discussed plans for continuing combat operations and cooperation between the Syrian Arab Army and Russian forces in order to proceed towards liberating the entirety of Deir Ezzor city from terrorism.”
SANA’s report added that “the two sides also affirmed the two friendly countries’ determination to continue and bolster counter-terrorism efforts in all Syrian areas until terrorism is defeated completely, because the war against terrorism will decide the fate of not only Syria, but the entire region, and its results will map out the future of its peoples.”
The visit came amid the continued battle against ISIS in Deir Ezzor city and its countryisde. Both the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance and the US-led coalition are seeking to establish control over the oil-rich countryside of Deir Ezzor. This is why the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have launched own opperation against ISIS north of Deir Ezzor after the Syrian Arab Army and its allies broke the ISIS siege on the city.