Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived late on October 20th in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia is one of the few country openly supporting Assad’s government and has been really active in conducting airstrikes to support the Syrian military.
Qualified as a working visit, Assad’s visit to Moscow is its first trip abroad since 2011. The prompt visit was all about the continued efforts by both countries’ military against the Islamic State, and the Russian air campaign against terrorist organizations in Syria.
According to Putin, more than 4,000 fighters from Russia is currently fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. The Kremlin also confirmed that Putin told Assad that Russia cannot allow these fighters to come back to its country due to their indoctrination and combat experience; experience that could be used against civilians.
Russia is conducting successful airstrikes against the Islamic States and other terrorist organizations—al-Nusra for example—in Syria, enabling the Syrian military to conduct ground offensives to retake lost ground.
Moscow consider everyone fighting Assad’s troops as terrorist organizations.
Moscow and Washington signed an agreement to minimize the risk of incidents between Russian and US-led coalition aircraft in Syrian airspace. However, Washington believe that Russia’s actions in Syria have strenghten Assad’s regime.