Assad Hails Takeover of Crimea 03/07 07:14
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad says Russia's military
takeover of Crimea reflects President Vladimir Putin's "wise policy" and his
efforts to restore "security and stability" in Ukraine after an "attempted
In a letter addressed to the Russian president, Assad claims Putin's move in
eastern Ukraine prevented "terrorist extremists" from taking power in Kiev.
Assad's comments --- his first since the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis
last month --- were carried by the Syrian state news service late on Thursday.
Russia has been an adamant supporter of Assad through the 3-year-old
conflict that started as a largely peaceful uprising against his rule but
turned into a civil war that has claimed at least 140,000 lives.
Assad says his troops are fighting Islamic extremists who want to destroy