Syrian president, Russian defense minister discuss anti-terror operations
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have met to discuss bilateral defense ties and an upcoming Damascus offensive to fully liberate the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr from Daesh terrorists.
During the Tuesday meeting in Damascus, Shoigu submitted a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Assad, “congratulating him on lifting the siege” imposed by Daesh on Dayr al-Zawr, the Syrian presidency said in a statement.
The two sides underlined their resolve to continue counter-terrorism efforts across Syria until terrorism is defeated completely, noting that the fate of the war in Syria will determine the future map of the region.
“During the meeting, the issues of military and military-technical cooperation were discussed in the context of the successful actions of the Syrian government troops with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces” aimed at the complete destruction of Daesh, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Last week, Syrian government forces, backed up by Russia airstrikes, reached Dayr al-Zawr on the Euphrates River, breaking a three-year terrorist siege on the city and a nearby air base.
Syrian soldiers are now preparing for a fresh offensive to cleanse Day al-Zawr of Takfiri Daesh militants. Reports said Monday that huge military reinforcements, including equipment, vehicles and troops, had been deployed to the city ahead of the new army push.
According to the Russian chief of staff in Syria, the Syrian government has managed to liberate 85 percent of the country from the grip of terrorist groups.
Assad and Shoigu further pointed to the upcoming Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Thursday and Friday, and discussed ways to strengthen deescalation zones in Syria in an attempt to pave the ground for a lasting ceasefire.