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20151021
Embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has flown to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now his chief sponsor.

The talks, held Tuesday night, centered on coordinating military action in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov said the talks concerned the fight against "terrorist extremist groups," a phrase the Assad regime regularly uses to describe all elements of the disparate opposition.

Syria has been embroiled in a brutal civil war for four and a half years. The Assad regime has lost control of broad swathes of the country to opponents that include moderate forces as well as the extremist group ISIS. His position has at times seemed in grave danger.

And this is believed to have been the first time he has left the country since the civil war began in March 2011.

But Russia has come to his rescue. On September 30, the Russian Air Force began pounding Assad's opponents with airstrikes. The Kremlin initially said the strikes were against ISIS. But it has since acknowledged that it is intent on shoring up the Assad regime.

cnn.com
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