Earlier in the day, the Kremlin’s press service said that Putin congratulated Assad with the liberation of Aleppo during a phone conversation, the Kremlin said Friday, noting that the main task now is peace efforts.

“The two sides discussed during the phone call the next political process in Syria, with President Assad thanking President Putin and Russia as a key ally for Syria which contributed along with other allies to liberating Aleppo,” the report said.

“President Assad said victories in Aleppo paved the way for political work in Syria, adding that they will push many parties which hindered the political process to join the political track and reconciliations,” it said.

On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry’s center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods was over, and that Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militants’ resistance. On Thursday, the Syrian army declared victory in Aleppo as the last convoy with militants left the city’s east.


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