Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has visited Syria where he met with President Bashar Assad and inspected the Khmeimim air base, the Russian military said on Saturday. Shoigu and Assad discussed military cooperation and fight against terrorism.
Shoigu has met with the Syrian leader upon the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Ministry’s spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
“Topical issues concerning military cooperation between the two countries’ defense ministries, as well as certain aspects of cooperation in the fight against terror groups that are active on Syrian territory, were discussed at the meeting,” Konashenkov said.
The minister inspected Russian Khmeimim air base in Latakia Province and also inspected the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system deployed there.
The visit was not previously announced.
Shoigu ordered the commander of the Russian reconciliation center to further encourage local administrations and fighters to cease fire and join the peace process.
“The defense minister ordered the commanders of the air base to boost comprehensive support to the locals, especially in the areas blocked by terrorists,” Konashenkov added.