Putin tells Assad: Russia will help defend Syrian sovereignty

In this Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Putin shakes hand with Bashar Assad at the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia. (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in a new year’s greeting that Russia will continue supporting Syria’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

Earlier this month Putin ordered the Russian forces in Syria to start withdrawing from the country, but said Russia would keep its Hmeymim air base in Syria’s Latakia Province as well as its naval facility at Tartous “on a permanent basis.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50