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    Russian Lawmakers Arrive in Syria on Humanitarian Mission

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    The Russian parlamentarians' delegation comprising of members of the State Duma and the Federation Council brought three metric tons of baby food to Syria, according to one of the delegates.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian parliamentarians arrived in conflict-torn Syria on Friday on a humanitarian mission, one of the delegates told RIA Novosti.

    "The delegation, comprising of members of the State Duma and the Federation Council [chambers of the Russian parliament], has just arrived in the Syrian Arab Republic," Alexander Yushchenko said.

    The lawmaker said the delegation has brought three metric tons of baby food with it to be distributed through orphanages and other channels.

    The Russian parliamentarians are also planning to meet with Syrian government officials, Yushchenko said.

    "We could hold practical talks on strengthening our inter-parliamentary cooperation," he said.

    The Russian lawmaker noted that it is very timely that the Russian delegation has arrived in Syria on the heels of President Bashar Assad's visit to Moscow on Tuesday.

    During his visit, Assad discussed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Moscow's involvement in the resolution of the Syrian crisis, and expressed gratitude for the help it has been giving to his country.

    This is the third time a Russian parliamentary delegation has visited Syria since Assad won the 2014 presidential elections by winning over 88 percent of the popular vote.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting anti-government rebels as well as extremist groups, including Islamic State (ISIL).

    Russia is among the countries engaged in international efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria, as well as providing humanitarian aid.

    Moscow has been helping Damascus in its fight against extremists. Russian attack aircraft commenced precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Assad.

    Since the beginning of the air campaign, the Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out some 930 strikes, killing several hundred militants and destroying dozens of command centers, and depots used by the terrorists.


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    humanitarian aid, Syrian crisis, Alexander Yushchenko, Syria, Russia
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