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Putin vows to continue Syria support in new year greeting
December 31, 2017
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MOSCOW: 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.

Putin stressed that Russia would “continue to render every assistance to Syria in the protection of state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, in the promotion of a political settlement process, as well as in efforts to restore the national economy,” the Kremlin said.

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.”

Russia intervened on the side of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime in 2015, helping it to take back control of swathes of territory including Aleppo.

The war has killed more than 340,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Agencies

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