Russian President Vladimir Putin: Comrades, good afternoon.
I sincerely greet all personnel of the Russian forces in Syria on the New Year and Christmas.
You are celebrating these holidays far away from you families, your homes, and your country. And it is far away from home that you are defending our country and continuing the fight against terrorism.
Much has been done over the past year. Military police are effective in the Golan Heights, in Palmyra, Aleppo, and other important regions of Syria. Pilots of the Russian Aerospace Forces conduct reconnaissance and provide air support to the Syrian army.
Joint operations help eliminate the more dangerous terrorist commanders, which is what the Special Operations Forces have successfully accomplished.
Off the coast of Syria, the Navy personnel are continuing to successfully defend our national interests in the Mediterranean.
I have reserved my special thanks for our combat medics. They provide medical assistance, carry out surgery, save lives under difficult conditions, often at risk to their own lives.
I thank the commanders and the personnel of the Russian forces in the Syrian Arab Republic for the conscientiousness with which they fulfil their military duty.
Russia, your families and loved ones, wish you all the best.
I want to emphasise once again that here in Syria, you are not only helping the Syrian people by liberating them from terrorist groups. Here, in Syria, you are defending your home country by preventing terrorists from reaching Russia and its neighbouring countries.
I wish you courage, happiness, and health. Thank you for your service.
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad (retranslated): Mr President Vladimir Putin,
Welcome to our capital, Damascus.
Commanders of all the tactical units deployed in Syria,
I am pleased to speak with you via this videoconference, especially being next to your Supreme Commander-in-Chief, President Putin.
I would like to extend my Christmas greetings to you and, of course, to all the military personnel who are here in Syria on this holy day.