Telephone conversation with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad 2018-09-24 13:30:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, at the latter’s initiative. Bashar al-Assad once again expressed his most sincere condolences on the loss of 15 Russian military personnel who were on board Il-20 shot down on September 17 in Syria. The Russian President informed his Syrian counterpart about his decision to introduce additional measures in order to ensure the security of Russian military personnel in Syria and to improve Syria’s air defence system, including by handing over a modern S-300 missile system. The two presidents noted their readiness for further joint efforts to achieve a long-term peace in Syria, and restore its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, specifically, in view of the outcome of the trilateral meeting of the heads of state, guarantors of the Astana process, in Teheran and the recent Russian-Turkish summit in Sochi. Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad also discussed promoting the political process with respect to forming the Constitutional Committee in Geneva and launching its work. It was agreed to continue contacts at various levels.