Syrian defense chief in Moscow for talks on military ties

Syria's defense chief is visiting Moscow for talks on military cooperation with his nation's key ally, Russia.

The Russian military says Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Syrian counterpart, Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij, have underlined their "shared intention to further boost multi-faceted cooperation" between the two militaries.

During Thursday's talks, they discussed the results of the Russian air campaign in Syria and talked about prospects for "military and military-technical cooperation."

Russian warplanes have flown nearly 6,000 sorties since Moscow launched its air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30, helping the government troops to launch offensives and reclaim ground in several areas. Russia says it has targeted the Islamic State and other extremist groups, but the U.S. and its allies have accused Moscow of also striking moderate rebel groups.