Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma met family members of Russian military personnel who arrived in Damascus on Monday, who were killed fighting in Syria with pro-Assad forces.
Syria’s leading Bishop of Antioch, John X, and the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin, were also in attendance.
Five families of Russian military officers were at the function, including the parents of Roman Filipov who was piloting the downed Russian jet, and then blew himself up using a hand grenade.
The five families will pay a visit to the Hmeimim, which is a Syrian air base operated by Russia, to place flowers on the tombs of the Russian martyrs.
In a video capturing the event, Asma was seen giving a little girl whose father was killed in June 2016 in Palmyra a kitten as a gift.
The visit to Syria was planned with the support of the Russian defense and foreign ministries.
Assad is also meant to also meet with families of deceased Syrian military servicemen, and it was announced that they will deliver humanitarian aid to a boarding school for orphans.