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Russia-Ukraine war: Syria's Assad says invasion a 'correction of history'

In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Syrian leader shows support for ally nation's latest military manoeuvre
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) at the Kremlin in Moscow on 13 September 2021 (AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Friday, praising the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calling it a "correction of history".

Damascus is a staunch ally of Moscow, which intervened in the Syrian civil war in 2015 by launching air strikes to support the Assad regime's struggling forces. Russia's intervention in Syria marked a turning point in the conflict.

The conversation took place a day after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a move that has drawn international condemnation. 

"President Assad stressed that what is happening today is a correction of history and a restoration of balance in the global order after the fall of the Soviet Union," said a statement from the Syrian presidency.

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Assad also said that "Syria stands with the Russian Federation based on its conviction that its position is correct and because confronting Nato expansionism is a right for Russia." 

During Friday's phone call, Assad said: "Western nations bear responsibility for the chaos and bloodshed," accusing them of using "dirty methods to support terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine".

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Last month, local Syrian media claimed that Russia had recruited between 2,500 and 4,000 pro-Assad Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, paying them $700 per month.

According to Moscow, more than 63,000 Russian military personnel have been deployed to Syria.

Russia's intervention in Syria enabled pro-government forces to wrest back lost territory in a series of victories against rebels and militant groups involving deadly bombardments and massive destruction.

According to the Paris-based Syrian Network for Human Rights, Russia's military intervention in Syria has caused the death of 6,910 civilians, including 2,030 children, and carried over 1,200 attacks on vital civilian facilities.

The war in Syria is estimated to have killed nearly half-a-million people and displaced millions more since it began in a crackdown on anti-government protests in 2011. 

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