Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad made a last-minute trip to Russia this week to hold high-level talks with Vladimir Putin; visiting the leader’s summer residence near the Black Sea to discuss the ongoing civil war.
According to the Associated Press, Assad trekked to Russia to discuss his country’s fight against “terrorism” and his efforts to help end the seven-year-long struggle between his regime and American-backed rebels.
“It said the two also discussed economic cooperation and growing investments by Russian companies in Syria,” writes the AP. “Russia has been a key ally of Assad throughout the seven-year Syrian civil war. Moscow launched an air campaign on behalf of Assad’s forces in 2015 that tipped the conflict in his favor.”
Though the United States and Russia cooperate in the regional fight against ISIS fighters, each nation finds itself on opposite sides of the brutal civil war; with Russia supporting the Assad regime and the United States arming Syrian rebels aimed at overthrowing the dictatorship.