Snap visit by Putin to Syria (vid)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin at the new command centre of Russian military forces in Syria, in Damascus on Tuesday.

Putin arrived at the facility straight from the Damascus airport alongside Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The delegation was welcomed and shown around the new facility. Then the two presidents listened to a report by the head of Russian military forces in Syria, Aleksander Chaiko.

Assad and Putin then discussed the situation in northern Syria and in the capital. The Russian president highlighted the “signs of a recovering peaceful life” on the streets of Damascus. Assad and Putin discussed the Idlib situation as well as the developments in northern Syria and Turkey’s actions there, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports.

Shortly after the negotiations with Assad, Putin headed to Constantinople where he is scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.