Vladimir Putin claims that the presence of US troops in Syria is illegal and prevents the country from uniting.

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Vladimir Putin claims that the presence of US troops in Syria is illegal and prevents the country from uniting.

During a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Moscow on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the presence of US troops in Syria illegal, according to the Kremlin.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Kremlin paraphrased Putin as saying that unifying forces is the only way to “allow the country to get back on its feet.”

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of US troops are stationed in eastern Syria to assist Kurdish-led fighters in confronting the Islamic State extremist group and Turkish forces in the country’s north.

Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday that the US presence in the country was illegal because the US did not have permission to be there from the UN or the Syrian government.

In a statement released by the Kremlin, Putin was cited as saying Assad, “This plainly breaches international law and does not allow you to make maximal efforts to consolidate the country.”

“Only by uniting all forces in Syria will the country be able to get back on its feet and begin steady development,” Putin said.

See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.

Russia entered Syria’s 10-year battle in September 2015, when the Syrian military appeared to be on the verge of collapse, and has since aided Assad in turning the power balance in his favor, with his forces now controlling much of the nation. Hundreds of Russian troops are stationed throughout Syria, and the country also has a military air base on the Mediterranean coast.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis a decade ago, Assad has only been abroad to visit crucial allies Russia and Iran. According to state media in Damascus, Assad and Putin discussed military cooperation and ways to continue operations to retake the last rebel-held areas in Syria.

Because of coronavirus outbreaks in his inner group, Putin later announced he was going into self-isolation. In March, Assad and his wife were diagnosed with coronavirus, but they recovered three weeks later.

It was the first encounter between the two partners since their January 2017 summit in Syria’s capital. They also met in 2017 at the Black Sea resort of Sochi and in 2015 in Moscow. The meeting on Monday was described by Syrian official television as. This is a condensed version of the information.

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