President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that Russia is 'a nation to be reckoned with.'
French President Sarkozy, in Damascus this week, was also thought to be seeking Syria's help in dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
An Orthodox Jewish family hosts curious strangers at weekly meals.
Anbar Province is where 1 of every 3 US fatalities in Iraq occurred.
Damascus is seeking an arms deal with Moscow, a move that would bolster its position in the Middle East.
In the coming weeks, the West will be shaping a long-term response to what many see as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid to change the post-cold-war world.
Despite tensions over missile deals and NATO expansion, the West's ties with Russia are far more nuanced than in Soviet days.
Earlier this week, Syrian president said missiles in his country could offset US-Poland missile pact.