President Putin and Assa
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Damascus, holding talks with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, at the Russian military command center.

Putin “rode through the streets of Damascus” on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city’s airport, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

The Russian president met with Assad there as the two leaders listened to reports by military officials on the conditions on the ground in various regions of the country. Russia has been assisting Syria in the fight against terrorists since 2014.

During their meeting, Putin told Assad that “the signs of peaceful life are visible to the naked eye on the streets of Damascus,” Peskov said.

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The Russian president also said that it can now safely be said that “a huge distance has been passed on the way to restoring Syria’s statehood and territorial integrity.”

Putin last visited Syria in 2017 when he inspected Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in the western Latakia Province.