In Syria the rebel stronghold Qusyar has come under fire from government forces, who are backed by fighters from Hezbollah. Syria's opposition groups are now urging rebel reinforcements to help hold the besieged town.
Russian President Putin said the Syrian military's successes have created conditions for "the start of a political process on a major scale." Syria's Assad said progress would be made in the Astana peace talks.
Russia has admitted four of its soldiers were killed in the clash with what it called "terrorists." Jihadists had targeted Syrian and allied Russian fighters near the town of Mayadeen in eastern Syrian.
Opposition fighters have surrendered government institutions and a strategic highway. The Syrian regime's latest offensives in Homs and Eastern Ghouta have dealt a fatal blow to the country's rebel movement.
Syria's president believes his country is caught up in a much larger conflict than its own civil war. He warned that "things are going to be out of control" if superpowers engage in direct conflict.
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