Later in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Valery Gerasimov met Assad to discuss the coordination of actions of Syrian government forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces in the fight against terrorism.
"During joint work, [the sides] discussed the issues of coordination of actions of the Syrian government troops with support of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the fight against international terrorist groups ISIL [Daesh] and Nusra Front on the Syrian territory. The issue of the implementation of ceasefire within the framework of the memorandum on establishment of the de-escalation zones in the Syrian Arab Republic was also discussed."
A guided tour was organized for the president.
The Hmeymim airbase in Latakia was built in 2015 to serve as a strategic center of Russia’s military operation against Daesh and other terrorist groups. In January 2017, the base was leased to Russia by Syria for another 49 years.