Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited a Russian air base at Hmeymim in western Syria on Tuesday, his first visit to the base from which Russian jets have supported his war effort.
According to theSANA news agency, Syrian President was accompanied by Russian chief of staff General Valery Gerasimov. Bashar al-Assad sat at the helm of a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet and inspecting an armored vehicle at the base near Latakia.
The base has been at the heart of Moscow’s military effort in support of Assad since 2015, when the Russian air force began bombing insurgents who were threatening his grip on power. Assad has also been backed in the war by Iran.
State media also reported on Tuesday that Assad had visited wounded soldiers in the Hama countryside, accompanied by his wife Asma and children in footage screened by state media.