Syrian president Assad backs Putin on Ukraine - Syrian presidency

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Moscow
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(Reuters) -Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and supported his position regarding Ukraine, the Syrian presidency said in a statement on Friday amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

Syria has been a staunch ally of Moscow since Russia launched a military campaign in Syria in 2015 that helped to turn the tide in a civil war in favour of President Bashar al-Assad with massive aerial bombardment of opposition-held areas.

Assad during the call described the Russian offensive in Ukraine as a "correction of history."

"His Excellency (Assad) stressed that Syria stands with the Russian Federation, based on its conviction of the correctness of its position," the statement said.

Syria on Tuesday had recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine that Putin has said he was seeking to protect via a "special military operation."

Russian forces on Friday were reported to have reached the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

(Reporting by Kinda Makieh; writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Chizu Nomiyama)