SURPRISE!

Putin to Speak With Trump After Hosting Syria’s Assad in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Bashar al-Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, marking the second time the Syrian dictator has visited Russia during the country’s six-year civil war. After discussing the fight against terrorism and prospects for resolving the conflict that has left an estimated 400,000 dead, Assad thanked Putin and the Russian military for their support in maintaining Syria’s territorial integrity, according to the Kremlin. Putin plans to hold a phone conversation with President Donald Trump after the bilateral talks and will also speak with other Middle Eastern leaders.