Syria’s Bashar al Assad has offered Russian President Vladimir Putin his support in the conflict in Ukraine.
In a televised meeting with Putin in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Assad said Russia was fighting “neo-Nazis and old Nazis” in Ukraine, according to a Russian translation.
Without offering evidence, Assad said the West had taken in “old Nazis”, and was now giving them support.
Kiev and the West say Russian accusations that Ukraine has become a hotbed of Nazism and “Russophobia” are a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine.
Russia’s military support for Assad helped him to turn the tide in a ruinous civil war that began in 2011 as a pro-democracy movement.
How does the Russian military doctrine work?
Putin and Assad also discussed economic relations and the aftermath of deadly earthquakes during their meeting.
“Despite everything, our relations are developing, including in the economic sphere. Over the past year, a seven percent increase in trade was recorded,” Putin said at a joint news conference.
Putin said the earthquakes in southern Türkiye, which were also felt in Syria, exacerbated the humanitarian situation and Russia is trying to provide support.
More than 13 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the two powerful quakes that rocked 11 provinces and killed more than 48,448, according to official figures.
The quakes also killed 6,000 in Syria, according to the UN.