Russian Defense Minister and Assad Meet In Damascus - Syrian TV

Russian Defense Minister and Assad Meet In Damascus - Syrian TV

 Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday (September 12) on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, the ministry said.

Images of the meeting in Damascus were shown on Syrian TV.

The meeting focused on plans to recapture Deir al-Zor city and to "strengthen efforts to combat terrorism in all Syrian territory until its utter annihilation," Assad's office said.

Shoigu and Assad discussed the de-escalation deals in parts of Syria that have "sped up the victories of the Syrian army and its allies in fighting terrorism in other areas", it said.

Government forces last week reached Deir al-Zor city, the provincial capital on the Euphrates River, breaking an Islamic State (ISIS) siege of a government-held pocket and a nearby air base.

Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Syrian government forces had driven militants from much of the country where President Bashar al-Assad's rule seemed in danger two years ago.

The chief of staff of the Russian military contingent in Syria, Alexander Lapin, said that "to date, 85 percent of Syria's territory has been cleared of the militants of illegal armed groups".