MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin assured the Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad that Russia will continue assisting Syria in protection of the country’s sovereignty, unity and territory integrity, the Kremlin said.
"In his message of greetings to the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, the President of Russia expressed hope that in 2018 the situation in Syria would continue changing for the better," the Kremlin said. "Mr Putin noted that defeating terrorists and rapidly bringing the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic back to normal would be in the best interests of the whole world and would improve security in the Middle East."
"In addition, Mr Putin confirmed Russia’s commitment to assisting the Syrian Arab Republic in upholding its state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and promoting a political settlement and economic recovery," the Kremlin added.
The Russian military began the mission against militants of the Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra (terrorist organizations outlawed in Russia) in Syria on September 30, 2015 at request from the Syrian president. In early December of the outgoing year, Putin said about the Islamic State’s complete defeat. On December 11, when addressing the Russian military at the Hmeymim base, he ordered to withdraw the Russian personnel from Syria. Two Russian bases - Hmeymim and Tartus - and the center for reconciliation of the warring parties will continue working there.