Syrian President holds meeting with Russian President

Narendra Modi

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russian warships with cruise missiles will remain on a permanent patrol in the Mediterranean Sea to react to possible threats emanating from the Syrian civil war.

Support allies Russian Federation and Iran played a crucial role in the Syrian military reversing gains by rebels and jihadis, and Putin congratulated his Syrian counterpart on "the significant success of the Syrian government army in the fight against terrorist groups", which he should be followed by "a full-fledged political process".

The Russian president said the terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, allowing for the restoration of Syrian infrastructure. "Much has also been done within the framework of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi", he said.

Russian Federation has been a key ally of Assad throughout the seven-year Syrian civil war when many other countries, including the United Kingdom, wanted to remove him from power.

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Russian state television on Thursday aired footage of the two leaders meeting. Russia's entrance came at a time when almost half the country had been absorbed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), which targeted both the Syrian government and rival rebel forces. "Now, we can make next moves jointly with you". Assad said about it after completion of the talks, TASS reported.

Syria's conflict began with mass protests against the Assad family's decades-long rule.

More than 450,000 people have been killed and 11 million have been displaced from their homes.

The opposition and its Western backers have demanded he step aside as part of a political transition, something the Syrian government has adamantly rejected.