Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Syria where he held talks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad in Damascus, Syrian state media and Russia's Interfax said Tuesday.
"In his conversation with Assad, Putin noted that we can now say with confidence that a huge distance has been made toward restoring Syrian statehood and the country's territorial integrity," the agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
This is the first trip of the Russian president to the country since he visited Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province in 2017.
Russia deployed its air force to Syria in 2015, decisively turning the opposition fighters who were battling to topple regime leader Assad in the country's civil war.
Putin's visit came amid rising tensions between Iran, a key Assad ally, and the U.S. over an American strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran-backed Hashed al-Shaabi military network's deputy chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Soleimani's death has sparked calls across Iran for revenge against America for a slaying that's drastically raised tensions across the Middle East.
The U.S. government warned ships of an unspecified threat from Iran across all the Mideast's waterways, crucial routes for global energy supplies. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force launched a drill with 52 fighter jets in Utah, just days after President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 sites in Iran.
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