Damascus has joined Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela in formally recognizing the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as sovereign states.
Russia did the same in 2008 after Georgia attempted to reinvade the breakaway entities in a military offensive which targeted and killed Russian peacekeepers who were stationed there in accordance with deals which had ended the 1990s Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz wars.
Georgia has now launched the procedure to break off diplomatic relations with Syria.
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