Assad, Russian Officials Meet in Damascus to Discuss Syria's Development

The Syrian president and the Russian officials spoke of commitment to 'destruction of terrorist presence' and the advancement of a political solution

In this photo released by SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, in Damascus,  October 15, 2018.

Syrian President Bashar Assad met representatives of Russia’s foreign and defense ministries in Damascus on Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

During the meeting, they discussed development of the situation in Syria and reaffirmed their commitment to the “destruction of terrorist presence” and advancement toward a long-term political settlement in the interest of all Syrians.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Islamic terrorists had detained several U.S. nationals south of the euphrates river in Syria.

Speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said that Islamic State militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by U.S.-backed forces and issued an ultimatum promising to execute 10 people every day.

Putin also said the hostages included several European nationals, adding that Islamic State was expanding its control in territory controlled by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces.

He did not specify what the militants' demands were.