Putin agrees closer cooperation in fighting terrorism with Turkey and Syria following attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin held separate calls with his Turkish and Syrian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, on Saturday and promised closer cooperation in fighting terrorism following the deadly concert attack in Moscow, according to a Kremlin readout.

The readout said Erdogan offered “his deep and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims” and “stressed the urgent need for closer bilateral cooperation in the fight against the terrorist threat.”

In a conversation with Putin, Assad “wished fortitude to the victims’ families and friends,” and the leaders “agreed to intensify contacts. . . in addressing counterterrorism,” according to the Kremlin.

Russia is the strongest foreign power operating in Syria, and Putin has long allied himself with Assad, throwing the full weight of the Russian military behind the Syrian Army.