Russian Chief of Staff Colonel General Valery Gerasimov announced on Tuesday that the active phase of the military operation in Syria where Russia has intervened to support regime head Bashar Assad was on the verge of ending.
He acknowledged that there are a number of problems yet to be resolved, but the phase is coming to its “logical conclusion,” Russian news agencies reported him as saying during a meeting with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts.
The three military officials were meeting in Russia’s Sochi city ahead of a meeting on Wednesday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The three leaders will meet in Sochi to discuss the political settlement of the Syrian conflict.
Earlier the Kremlin announced that Putin had received Assad in Sochi on Monday for talks on the transition from military operations to the political settlement in Syria.
Moscow is seeking to reach international consensus over a peace deal in Syria, two years after it became involved militarily in the conflict, a move that swayed the battle in the regime’s favor.
Putin revealed that after meeting with Assad, he will hold talks with Saudi Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, US President Donald Trump and number of Middle Eastern leaders.
Putin told Assad that there was still a long way to go before achieving a “complete victory against the terrorists.”
Echoing Gerasimov’s statements, he confirmed that the battle against terrorists on the ground was indeed nearing its conclusion.
“I believe that the most important thing now is moving towards political issues,” he added, noting that Assad was prepared to work with all sides that want to achieve peace and a solution to the conflict.
Russia is exerting efforts to hold a dialogue congress for the Syrian people that would bring together all ethnic minorities and warring factions in the country.