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Hezbollah and Russia in first
direct military meeting: report

Al-Akhbar reported that Moscow and the Lebanese militant party will now maintain ongoing contact on operational issues in Syria.

Assad, Putin and Nasrallah. (image via eaworldview.com)

BEIRUT - Hezbollah military officials have held their first ever direct meeting with their Russian counterparts in a landmark sitdown that tackled the Aleppo front, according to a daily close to the powerful Lebanese militant organization.

 

“Less than a week ago, Aleppo witnessed the first direct meeting between Hezbollah field commanders and Russian army officers,” Al-Akhbar reported Thursday.

 

The Lebanese daily said that the gathering “came at the request of the Russians” who were impressed by Hezbollah’s military performance during the “Battle of Martyr Abu Omar Saraqeb,” a failed rebel offensive launched in late October against regime positions in western Aleppo.

 

After observing the results of the rebel campaign, which was turned back thanks in part to Hezbollah’s large military presence on the frontlines, Russia last week called for a meeting with the Lebanese organization, according to Al-Akhbar.

 

“The meeting was attended by high-ranking Russian officers, who paid tribute to [Hezbollah’s] capabilities,” the report claimed, explaining that previous communication between Moscow and Hezbollah was handled by both sides’ representatives in the joint operations room in Baghdad and Damascus that include Syrian and Iraqi military officials.

 

However, after the recent Aleppo meeting, Hezbollah and Russia will now maintain “constant communication across joint channels in Syria,” the newspaper said.

 

While the open channel will include discussions on military plans, the talks will remain “purely operation” and not discuss broader issues, such as Hezbollah’s long-term conflict with Israel, the report added.

 

NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report.

A billboard in Syria shows Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Nasrallah. (image via eaworldview.com)

Less than a week ago, Aleppo witnessed the first direct meeting between Hezbollah field commanders and Russian army officers.