Syria's Assad makes surprise visit to Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, on October 21, 2015Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad made a surprise visit to Moscow Tuesday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his first foreign trip since the conflict erupted in 2011. Putin pledged to continue to support Damascus militarily, while calling for a political solution involving all groups to try to end the war, the Kremlin said Wednesday. For his part, Assad told Putin that Russia’s air strikes launched in Syria last month had helped stop the spread of “terrorism” in his country, it said.

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