Rouhani: No Iran-Russia Alliance in Syria War
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran and Moscow are not working within a joint or coordinated plan to aid the Syrian government, adding that the two states are extending separate helps to the Damascus war on the terrorists.
“I do not see a coalition between Iran and Russia in the war against terrorism in Syria,” President Rouhani said in New York, addressing the American media representatives on Friday.
The Iranian president’s remarks came after he told the audience that President Vladimir Putin told him personally that Moscow wants to play a more active role in combating extremist groups in the region.
President Rouhani said when the bloodshed stops in Syria, the country should enter a new phase where the voices of the opposition will also be heard.
“It is impossible to (achieve) democracy (in Syria) without stability; voting is impossible in the battlefield,” President Rouhani added.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Iran’s Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi disclosed that Tehran and Moscow’s military aid and supports for Damascus are not done in the form of a single plan and each country is working based on its own plan.
“We are not tied to anyone in helping the resistance and we do our own job. Russia helps its allies within the framework of the treaties that it has and we also act through on our own method,” Salehi told FNA on the sidelines of the annual nationwide parades at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the Late Imam Khomeini, South of Tehran.
Also asked if there is any chance for Iran-US joint war on terrorist groups, including the ISIL, he said, “The US is leading the ISIL and we are fighting against the ISIL; therefore, we cannot have any cooperation.”
Syrian officials have welcomed Iran and Russia’s military assistance in campaign against terrorism.
“Syria welcomes Iran and Russia’s military partnership in fight against the ISIL in Syria and assumes the efforts made by these countries as legal, distant from the double-standards and in line with safeguarding our national security,” Jamal Rabe’eh, a senior Syrian legislator, told FNA on Sunday.
The Syrian foreign minister said Thursday that Damascus might ask Moscow to send troops to fight alongside the government forces against terrorist groups in the war-torn country if necessary.
Moreover, Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said earlier that Russia had every right to carry out airstrikes against the ISIL on the country’s soil.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia’s military participation in operations in the fight against the ISIL terrorist group in Syria could be discussed in a bilateral format should such a request surface.
“If there’s a request, then it would naturally be discussed and reviewed in the framework of bilateral contacts and bilateral dialogue. This is so far difficult to discuss hypothetically,” Peskov said.
Also, Iran and Syria have inked several defense cooperation agreements based on which Tehran gives consultations to Damascus in fighting against the terrorist groups.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the government of President Bashar Assad fighting against many armed opposition factions, militant and terrorist groups such as ISIL and the al-Nusra Front.