Syrian state media says President Bashar Assad has met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, in the first known trip abroad for the embattled leader since war broke out in his country in 2011.

The Ikhbariyah news channel says Wednesday that Assad met Putin a day earlier in Moscow. It says the two leaders discussed the continuation of the military operations against "terrorists" in Syria.

Russia began airstrikes against insurgents in Syria on Sept. 30.

Protests against Assad in early 2011 descended into a civil war. The United Nations estimates at least 250,000 people have been killed