Russia defends Palmyra in Syria from ISIS attack

Commanders of the Russian group of forces in Syria has taken measures to avert the withdrawal of the Islamic State militants from Raqqa towards Palmyra, which is located to the south, a source at the Russian Defense Ministry said to TASS News.

"The data confirmed via several independent channels suggests that the commanders of Kurdish units affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces and the leaders of the Islamic State detachments operating in the area reached an agreement on the opening of the so-called secure southern corridor," the source said.

"The terrorists have received an opportunity for unimpeded withdrawal on the condition they will head towards Palmyra," he said. Upon receiving the data, the command of the Russian forces in Syria took steps to prevent the militants’ withdrawal southwards, the source said.

Putin, Rouhani stress importance of joint efforts in settlement of Syrian conflict

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani, greeted him with the new presidential term and discussed the situation in Syria, the Kremlin’s press service said on Saturday.

"The Russian leader congratulated Hassan Rouhani with the new term and wished him success," the press service said as reported by TASS News.

The parties confirmed the aspirations for development of the multifaceted bilateral cooperation in line with the agreements achieved during the Iranian president’s visit to Russia in March.

"They paid special attention to trade and economic cooperation, including to implementation of major joint projects in the sectors of oil and gas and peace use of nuclear power," the statement reads. Besides, Putin and Rouhani discussed the situation in Syria.

"During the discussion of the situation in Syria the parties stressed importance of developing joint efforts to favor the political-diplomatic settlement of the conflict in that country, including in the framework of the Astana process and by means of implementing the Memorandum on de-escalation zones," the Kremlin said.

The leaders agreed to continue contacts both in bilateral and multilateral formats.

DONi News Agency