Putin met with Assad ahead of a summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran and a new round of Syria peace talks in Geneva. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Syrian government allies declared military victory over Daesh (ISIS) Tuesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar Assad for three hours of talks where they discussed potential new peace initiatives for post-war Syria.On a surprise trip to Russia, Assad discussed potential new peace initiatives for post-war Syria with Putin who declared that Russia's two-year military campaign in Syria is wrapping up, the Kremlin said.It wasn't immediately clear if the Kremlin put any pressure on Assad to accept a new deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran – or whether that deal would involve Assad staying on as president once the war is over – but Assad signaled his intention to hold his ground in future Syria peace talks.With the Syrian government controlling most of the country and Daesh fighters in disarray, Putin said during the talks with Assad that Russia's military campaign in Syria is wrapping up – though he made no mention of the Russian presence in Syria, which Moscow is not likely to give up.
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