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Daesh collapse means defeat of US regional policy: Iran defense chief

4 April 2018 15:11

The Iranian defense chief says the defeat of the Daesh terrorist group is equal to the defeat of the US’s regional policy, and thus the collapse of the Takfiri outfit could be followed by a fresh wave of hostilities in the region fueled by extra-regional powers.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami made the remarks in an address to the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) on Wednesday.

“The defeat of Daesh means the defeat of America’s regional policy and thus we should expect that this defeat would probably mark the beginning of a new era of hostilities and regional tensions,” with regional and extra-regional powers competing to consolidate their presence in conflict zones, he added.

Hatami warned that despite the fall of Daesh, the terror outfit’s Takfiri ideology is still alive and poses a threat to the world.

The threat of Daesh, the minister added, could still re-emerge anywhere in the world as long as the US and Western governments continue to arm the region’s aggressive states under multi-billion-dollar deals and as long as Washington refuses to end its “unwise” regional policies, which are based on “opportunism.”

Iran remains strongly opposed to US unilateralism and hegemony as well as the Zionist regime’s destructive and destabilizing policies that contribute to the spread of extremism and violence, Hatami said.

Any attempts directed at interventionism, aggression and disintegration of countries run counter to the interests of regional nations and government, the Iranian defense minister added.

The Islamic Republic, he said, favors a joint political initiative to resolve the Syria crisis and welcomes regional cooperation meant to end the suffering of the people of Yemen.

‘Daesh remains global threat’

The conference opened with a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Daesh has been completely defeated in Syria, but the Takfiri terrorist group still maintains its “destructive potential” to target different regions across the globe.

“Despite its military defeat, this terrorist group (Daesh) retains its significant destructive potential, it can change its tactics and launch attacks in different countries and regions in the world,” Putin said.

Other extremist outfits also “pose a great danger” to the world, he added.

The Russian president further underlined the need for international cooperation to combat terrorism and block its development.

“It is necessary to think together about new forms of multilateral cooperation that would allow us to consolidate the gains made in the fight against terrorism and to prevent the further spread of this threat,” he said.

Daesh started a campaign of terror in Iraq and Syria in 2014, occupying territory in the two Arab countries and establishing a self-proclaimed “caliphate” there.

Soon, the Iraqi and Syrian armies galvanized to retake Daesh-held territory and the terrorist group was gradually stripped of all the land it had occupied in the two Arab countries.

At the Damascus government’s request, Iran and Russia have been assisting Syria in its fight against terrorists.

Tehran gives the Syrian army military advisory assistance, while Moscow provides air cover to its ground operations against terrorists.

The Iraqi army also receives such assistance from Iran.

‘US after Syria oil’

Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Shawa also addressed the conference, saying the US is trying to gain control over Syrian oil fields and is helping Daesh for this purpose.

Syria’s Deputy Defense Minister Mahmoud Shawa attends the VII Moscow Conference on International Security on April 4, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Washington has “decided to invent various pretexts to justify keeping the illegal presence of their bases and troops on Syrian soil in order to establish control and domination over the oil fields in order to separate Syria,” Shawa said.

He also accused the US of violating humanitarian law during its military operation in Syria, but hailed Russia and Iran’s contribution “to the end of the war of attrition.”

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