MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Three French lawmakers are departing on a humanitarian visit to Syria to spend the Orthodox Christmas weekend with Syrian Christians in Aleppo, organizer of the trip Thierry Mariani, who is a member of The Republicans (LR) party, told Sputnik Thursday.
"In March, a delegation of the French parliamentarians visited Syria and attended the Easter Vigil with Syrian Christians where we promised to come back for the Christmas service," Mariani said.
The French delegation is expected to meet with Syria's President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Moualem during a January 5 — 10 visit.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following the protests that had turned violent, as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria.
On December 16, 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was over, and that the Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militant resistance.