Assad meets Putin in Moscow as Syrians mark 12 years since anti-regime rebellion
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad supplied Russian President Vladimir Putin his assist within the Ukraine battle throughout a go to to Moscow on Wednesday. The assembly between the 2 leaders in Moscow got here as 1000’s of Syrians demonstrated in rebel-held northwestern Syria to mark 12 years because the begin of pro-democracy protests in 2011, which the Assad regime brutally crushed with Russian assist.
In a televised assembly with Putin within the Kremlin, Assad stated Russia was preventing neo-Nazis and “outdated Nazis” in Ukraine, based on a Russian translation.
With out providing proof, Assad stated the West had taken in “outdated Nazis”, and was now supporting them.
Kyiv and the West say Russian accusations that Ukraine has turn out to be a hotbed of Nazism are a baseless pretext for an unprovoked conflict of aggression in Ukraine.
Welcoming Assad initially of the assembly that got here on the anniversary of Syria’s 12-year uprising-turned-civil conflict, Putin emphasised the Russian army’s “decisive contribution” to stabilising the nation.
Assad thanked Putin for backing Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, noting that the Kremlin’s assist has remained robust regardless of the preventing in Ukraine.
“Though Russia now can be conducting the particular operation, its place has remained unchanged,” Assad stated, utilizing the Kremlin’s “particular army operation” time period for the conflict in Ukraine.
Moscow has supplied strong political assist to Assad on the UN and actively mediated to assist restore his authorities’s ties with regional powers. Russia’s army assist for Assad additionally helped him to show the tide in a civil conflict that started in 2011 as a pro-democracy motion.
Syrians in rebel-held space mark Arab Spring anniversary
The assembly between Assad and Putin in Moscow got here as 1000’s of Syrians demonstrated within the war-ravaged nation’s rebel-held northwest on Wednesday, marking 12 years because the begin of pro-democracy protests and rejecting any worldwide “normalisation” with Damascus.
The brutal repression of the 2011 protests, which started through the Arab Spring uprisings, triggered a bloody and complicated civil conflict that has claimed greater than 500,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands displaced.
In Idlib metropolis, demonstrators waved revolutionary flags and held banners studying: “The folks demand the autumn of the regime” and “Freedom and dignity for all Syrians”.
The Idlib space is the final main insurgent bastion exterior the management of Assad’s Russia-backed forces.
The rebel-held areas of Syria’s north and northwest, managed by Islamist teams and Turkish-backed fighters, are house to greater than 4 million inhabitants, at the very least half of whom have been displaced from different components of the nation.
Catastrophe struck the area once more final month, when devastating quakes hit Syria and Turkey, killing nearly 6,000 folks throughout Syria.
Russia makes an attempt to fix Syria-Turkey ties
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier instructed reporters the talks would concentrate on bilateral ties however stated “Turkey-Syria relations will definitely be touched upon in a method or one other”.
Syria’s 2011 civil conflict strained relations between Damascus and Ankara, which has lengthy supported insurgent teams against Assad.
Turkey severed diplomatic ties with Syria quickly after the conflict started.
Analysts say Moscow now desires to bridge the divide between the 2 international locations that see a typical “enemy” in Kurdish teams in northern Syria, described as “terrorists” by Ankara and backed by Washington.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated he may meet with Assad, and their defence ministers met in Moscow in December, within the first such talks because the Syrian conflict started.
Diplomats from Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran are resulting from meet in Moscow this week to pave the best way for a international ministers’ assembly, based on Turkish media.
Advanced questions have to be resolved, nonetheless, significantly across the presence of Turkish troops in northern Syria.
Assad’s authorities has been politically remoted because the begin of the conflict, however he has been receiving calls and assist from Arab leaders after the February earthquake.
Worldwide sympathy following the quake appeared to have sped up the regional rapprochement, with some calling for dialogue with Syria and for bringing the nation again to the 22-member Arab League greater than a decade after its membership was suspended over the crackdown within the early months of the rebellion that become conflict.
As a part of the continuing rapprochement, the international ministers of Egypt and Jordan just lately made their first go to to Damascus because the battle started in March 2011 and met with Assad.
On Wednesday, Assad additionally thanked Putin for sending rescue groups and interesting its army based mostly in Syria to conduct salvage efforts and assist take care of the quake’s aftermath.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)