Russia's Putin congratulates Syria's Assad on regaining Palmyra | Reuters
MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on regaining the city of Palmyra, the Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday. 'Assad highly valued the help Russian air forces have provided and underlined that such successes as regaining Palmyra would have been impossible without Russia's support,' Dmitry Peskov said, quoted by TASS news agency.
MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on regaining the city of Palmyra, the Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday.
"Assad highly valued the help Russian air forces have provided and underlined that such successes as regaining Palmyra would have been impossible without Russia's support," Dmitry Peskov said, quoted by TASS news agency.
Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a "mortal blow" to militants who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.
The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the hardline Islamist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
Peskov said that Putin told Assad that Russia will continue to support Damascus in fighting terrorists, TASS reported. Putin also talked to UNESCO head Irina Bokova on Sunday, saying that Russia will help to demine Palmyra, Peskov added.
Syrian television said Assad told Putin that Russian air support and the determination of Syria's armed forces were key to the success in Palmyra.
He also said the city would be rebuilt.
"Palmyra was demolished more than once through the centuries...and we will restore it anew so it will be a treasure of cultural heritage for the world," it quoted him as saying.
Earlier in March, Putin ordered the bulk of the Russian military contingent in Syria to be pulled out after five months of air strikes, saying the Kremlin had achieved most of its objectives.
But Putin said later that Russia could scale up its military presence in Syria again within hours and would still bomb terrorist groups there despite a partial withdrawal of forces ordered after military successes.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova in Moscow and Dominic Evans in Beirut, Editing by Jason Bush and Angus MacSwan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
COVID-19 crisis: 'Priority to vaccinate Americans first,' US defends export ban on vaccine raw materials to India
'It is not only in the US interest to see Americans vaccinated; but it is in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,' said State Dept spokesperson Ned Price
'New energy' at Iran nuclear talks as diplomats reconvene; agreement possible in coming weeks, says US
The aim of the talks is a return to full compliance with the 2015 accord, known as the JCPOA, which has been slowly disintegrating since the US under Donal Trump withdrew from it in 2018
Why eating insects is becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable way of consuming proteins, micronutrients
In many countries, there is now a growing appreciation of insects as food and feed. In India too, efforts are being made to create awareness and popularise entomophagy.