Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday Russian forces were needed in the country long-term and for more than just fighting terrorism, Russian news agencies reported, citing an interview with the leader.”Russian armed forces are needed for balance in our region, at least in the Middle East, until the global political balance changes. And this might not even happen, we do not know. So it is important and necessary,” Interfax news agency cited Assad as saying in an interview with Russian media.He added that Syria’s agreement with Russia over the Hmeimim military base was signed to last over 40 years, indicating that the relationship between the two countries was of a long-term nature, Interfax reported.The rapid return of refugees to Syria is the main issue being discussed between Damascus and Moscow, Interfax news agency cited Assad as saying.”We call on refugees, especially on Syrians who had businesses here, to return,” TASS news agency cited Assad as saying. He also commented on the White Helmets volunteers, saying the Syrian rescue workers were a cover for militant groups.The group, known officially as Syria Civil Defense, has been widely hailed in the West and credited with saving thousands of people in rebel-held areas… Read full this story
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