Russia’s Putin Visits Syria to Meet Assad, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East during their talks in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

DAMASCUS, Syria – Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Damascus on Tuesday for a meeting with President Bashar Assad, a rare visit that comes amid soaring tensions between Iran and United States following the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general.

While the official statements made during the previously unannounced visit made no mention of the killing last week of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the timing was conspicuous.

The U.S. strike that killed Soleimani minutes after he landed in Iraq has drawn vows of retaliation from Tehran and its proxy militias in Baghdad and Beirut. It has also led the U.S. to re-position its troops in Iraq following calls by the Iraqi Parliament and prime minister for U.S. forces to leave the country.

Soleimani led Iran-backed forces supporting Assad in Syria’s civil war and played a key role in shoring up his army. With some 600 American troops deployed in Syria, the country is a potential site of conflict with Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, right, talk to each other while visiting an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Putin’s visit is the second to the country during the war, where his troops have been fighting alongside Syrian government forces since 2015. It comes amid a crushing Russian-backed offensive by Syrian forces on the northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria.

Putin and Assad met at a Russian command post in Damascus, and were presented with military reports on the situation in different regions of Syria, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

In his conversation with Assad, Putin said that a lot has been done toward restoring Syria’s statehood and territorial integrity. “The situation didn’t just change — in fact, we’re witnessing the restoration of Syria’s statehood, Syria as a state, the country’s territorial integrity,” Putin said in video of the meeting released by Syria’s state news agency SANA.

At the same time, Putin noted that the situation in the Middle East “is, unfortunately, escalating.”

During his time in Damascus, Putin visited the Syrian capital’s landmark Umayyad Mosque in the walled Old City together, where he viewed the tomb of John the Baptist who is sacred to both Christians and Muslims.

Putin’s visit coincided with Russian Orthodox Christmas, and Putin congratulated his troops on the holiday, according to a statement from Assad’s office. Photos released by SANA showed the two leaders visiting an orthodox cathedral in Damascus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, listen to Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, right, while visiting an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia joined the war in 2015, when the Syrian military appeared close to collapse. Since then, and largely because of Russia’s blanket air support, the Syrian government has largely won the nearly 9-year civil war militarily, and has retaken control of most of the country from rebel fighters.

In recent weeks, Syrian troops supported by Russian warplanes have been pushing into the country’s last rebel stronghold, located in northwestern Idlib province.

The last time Putin came to Syria was in 2017 when he announced a scale-back of the Russian military presence there. At the time, rebels were still entrenched on the outskirts of Damascus, and he only visited Russia’s Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia. Assad previously visited Russia and met with Putin in May 2018, November 2017 and October 2015.

Close to half a million people have been killed in Syria’s civil war and 11 million have been displaced from their homes, including 5 million who are refugees outside the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, fourth right in the first row, and Syrian President Bashar Assad, third right in the first row, pose for the media in an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
This image released by the Syrian Presidency, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, third right, and Syrian President Bashar Assad, center, visiting an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.  (Syrian Presidency via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, presents a Russian Orthodox icon to a priest as Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, stands next during their visit to an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.  (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, right, attend the talks in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, listen to Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, right, while visiting an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Syrian President Bashar Assad light candles while visiting an orthodox cathedral for Christmas, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

4 Comments

    1. Manos..

      While Mistotakis meets with a war criminal and Sociopathic Maniac Donald Trump , who bombed Syria to protect his Saudi recruited Sunni Muslim religious fanatics called ISIS and Al Queda ..all Sunni Muslim Salafist ..where freedom of religion does not exist , to kill anybody getting in the way of eliminating another leader of a country., like they did to the Orthodox Clergy and faithful , and put a mob hit on leaders of a foreign country, in broad daylight , which only a Godfather and a delusional lunatic of America could do, with the approval of a bunch of Anglo Evangelical Christians who TNH and the Greek Secret Societies of Ahepan Cult would like to Emulate..and then take photo up with Greek Orthodox clergy in Tarpon Springs ..all sponsored by the State Departments leading C.I.A operatives ..Bartholomew and the Greek American Despora of the brown shirt Greek Secret Societies sponsored by Antonios Diamataris!

      While Bartholomews most recent photo op was at his Cathedral in Turkey, with the blood stained former Neo Nazi Oligark President of the Ukraine …Victor Porchenko, ..and now indicted for corruption , bribes and just about everything evil in the Ukraine and connected to Joe Biden, and Geoffrey Pyatt ..the current Prime Minister of Greece…who installed him with another U.S coup of Ukraines goverment..just like they did in Greece in 1974..which maintains Right Wing extremist Aristocracies in Greece ..that serve Oligarks like Porchenko ..

  1. cont..
    and Maniac like Trump!

    Bartholomew for 30 pieces of silver disgracefully complied with orders not from his master Christ , but Geoffrey Pyatt and Victor Porchenko to divide the Orthodox church in the Ukraine ..since, like HItler did Jews ..have made the Orthodox church enemies of the State of Degenerate Evangelical lunatics because they represent a threat to their plans to take over the entire Eastern Europe countries who have major Orthodox Christian populations .. and connection to Russia ..the dominant Orthodox Population! It should be noted ..That Bartholomew’s brother Victor Porchenko ..is now featured in a documentary in which one of top Ukrainian officers has blown the whistle as to who ordered the blowing up of a Malaysian Airliner..with all the evidence featured.! Hey Bart.. remove yourself and take your Blood Stain money with you!..

    In the meantime ,Putin attends Christmas with the Clergy of the Orthodox Church of Syria..obviously Russian Agents and war criminals with Dr. Assad. who has re united Orthodox Christians with there homes in Allepo and Damascus..and for the first time in 8 years celebrate Christmas! The Big Bad Dr Assad..who will go down in history as the next leonidas for defeating the modern day Persian army of Nato slaves led by the Evangelical leader of America.who has now moved on to conquer Iran and Iraq again!

    To the Evangelical and Jewish religious fanatics…who worship Trump and Nentayahue …SKATA STA MOUTRA SU!

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