Iran has no military troops in Syria: Syrian minister
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi has dismissed allegations of Iran’s military presence in the Arab country, saying the Islamic Republic only provides military consultations to the Damascus government.
There are no Iranian troops fighting in Syria, Zoubi said in an interview with the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television channel, stressing that the Islamic Republic’s presence in the Arab country is for consultations only.
He also rejected claims by certain media that Russia’s military aid to Syria in the fight against terrorism is much to Iran’s dismay, saying certain countries, including Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and their allies, are those who are fretting about Moscow’s contribution to the anti-terror fight in Syria.
On September 30, Russia started its military campaign against terrorists in Syria upon a request by the government in Damascus, shortly after Russia’s upper house of parliament granted President Vladimir Putin authorization to use military force in the Arab country.
Iran has reaffirmed its support for the Syrian battle against terrorist groups, but has denied any military presence in the Arab country. Tehran says it only provides humanitarian aid and military consultations to Damascus to help it in the fight against terrorists wreaking havoc in the conflict-stricken country.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Syrian official said that the Iranian nation and government seek peace as well as the end of terrorism in Syria, stressing that the Islamic Republic is part of the resistance front.
The Syrian minister’s remarks come shortly after two veteran Iranian commanders, who were sent to Syria to give the country’s army military consultations, were killed during the battle against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
The deaths of Hamid Mokhtarband and Brigadier General Farshad Hassounizadeh, both commanders with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), come a few days after the killing of another senior IRGC commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani by Daesh terrorists on the outskirts of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo.
The foreign-backed conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations.