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    Service personnel of the Syrian Army on a BMD-1 in the liberated Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk south of Damascus

    Lawmaker: Assad Says Would Be Impossible to Free Damascus Suburbs Without Russia

    © Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the liberation of the Damascus outskirts would have proved to be unattainable without Russia’s help, the coordinator of the Russian State Duma group on relations with the Syrian parliament, Dmitry Sablin, told Sputnik on Sunday.

    A Russian delegation led by Sablin arrived in Syria for an official visit on Wednesday.

    "Assad said that if it were not for Russia’s help, it would have been impossible [to liberate the Damascus suburbs]," Sablin pointed out.

    READ MORE: SCO States Rule Out Warfare in Resolving Syrian Crisis — Summit Declaration

    Sablin noted that Assad had stressed the need to boost bilateral ties and people-to-people contacts.

    "We should develop ties between our nations at a political and cultural level. We insufficiently know each other. We need a dialogue, especially among young people. Over the past 20 years, many young people [in Syria] used to be under the Western influence, sometimes knowing more about America rather than about their own country," Sablin said, citing the president.

    Since September 2015, Russia has been conducting an anti-terror campaign in Syria, a nation that has been engulfed in a civil war for over six years. The mission is being carried out at the request of the Syrian president.

    In late May, the Syrian army confirmed full liberation of the Damascus suburbs after militants of the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia), which operated in eastern part of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk near the Syrian capital, had been destroyed.

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    Tags:
    suburb, Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syria
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