Syria's Assad travels to Russia to meet with Putin

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin says Syrian President Bashar Assad has met with President Vladimir Putin at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

A transcript of Thursday's meeting released by the Kremlin quoted Assad as saying that Syria is making progress in fighting "terrorism," which "opens the door to the political process."

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Assad informed Putin of his decision to "send a delegation to the U.N." to discuss reforming the country's constitution.

Russia has been a key ally of Assad throughout the seven-year Syrian civil war. Moscow launched an air campaign on behalf of Assad's forces in 2015 that tipped the conflict in his favor. Assad previously visited Russia and met with Putin in November 2017 and October 2015.