DAMASCUS // They stare at you from mugs, pins and fridge magnets in souvenir shops in Damascus.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, Syrian president Bashar Assad and Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah are a hot commodity in Damascus these days, their faces posted on mementos in the capital’s old bazaars.
Putin souvenirs popped up shortly after Moscow began conducting air strikes in Syria on September 30 aimed at shoring up Mr Al Assad’s fledgling forces.
The air strikes helped turned the tide of the five-year conflict in Mr Al Assad’s favour, earning the gratitude of supporters.
The Iranian-backed Hizbollah has sent thousands of its fighters to help government forces.