Assad tells Putin: Ready to move with political process in Syria

Al Assad meets with Putin in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday November 21, 2017 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin will call his American counterpart after Syrian President Bashar Al Assad concludes his trip to the Russian port city of Sochi.

“Already a talk is planned with the emir of Qatar and tomorrow—with the President of the U.S. Donald Trump, while afterwards (I will speak) with leaders from countries in the region,” a statement from the Kremlin quoted Putin on Tuesday.

In addition to President Donald Trump, Putin is expected to call the Qatari Emir to discuss resolving the Syrian civil war.

Al Assad had arrived in an unannounced visit to Sochi on Tuesday to coordinate peace initiatives ahead of an expected summit involving Iran, Russia and Turkey in the same port city.

The Syrian State news agency SANA quoted Al Assad as saying that “Russia’s military and economic support to Syria has achieved important results in various fields, such as humanitarian relief and military gains”.

“We still have a long way to go before we achieve a complete victory over terrorists. But as far as our joint work in fighting terrorism on the territory of Syria is concerned, this military operation is indeed wrapping up,” Putin told Al Assad, according to the Kremlin.

SANA said that Al Assad informed Putin that he was ready to move forward with a political process which will put an end to the Syrian civil war.

“We believe that the situation we now have on the ground and in the political sense permits us to expect progress in the political process. We count on the support of Russia to ensure the non-interference of outside players in the political process,” Al Assad said.

Syria has in the past year gained the upper hand against Islamist extremist rebel groups, such as Al Nusra and the Islamic State, largely thanks to Russian air support.

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Russia: Islamic State Routed in Syria

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Russia: Islamic State routed in Syria

The Syrian army said its soldiers have surrounded Islamic State elements in Deir e Zor along the eastern border with Iraq [Xinhua]

The Russian military says that the Islamic State in Syria has been nearly routed even as the Syrian Arab Army announces that it has retaken yet more territory from the extremist group.

On Tuesday the Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized Division said it had liberated east Hama city and destroyed the Islamic State’s largest training facility there.

The Syrian Army is now fighting its way into Deir e Zor in the east along the border with Iraq, backed by Russian fighter jets and bombers.

This follows the liberation of the town of Mayadeen, also in the east, from the Islamic State.

Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, says that the Islamic State now controls less than eight per cent of Syrian territory.

Meanwhile, US-backed rebel group the Syrian Democratic Forces, comprised mostly of Kurdish militia, said it had fully liberated the city of Raqqa from Islamic State fighters.

Raqqa had been the self-styled capital of the Islamic State caliphate for the last three years.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies