A senior Iranian official has hailed great efforts made by the Syrian nation and government during years of fight against terrorist groups, saying Syria has emerged victorious in the terrorist world war against the country.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Major General Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s National Security Bureau, in Tehran on Saturday.
The senior Iranian official pointed to the ongoing nationwide ceasefire in Syria and said the country’s maintenance of its military power and its monitoring of all moves by the armed groups were the only way to ensure that the militants remained committed to the truce.
The ceasefire agreement excludes the most brutal of terror outfits operating in Syria, namely Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
The truce was mediated by Russia and Turkey, which respectively represented the Syrian government and the anti-Damascus militants.
Ankara has stepped up its cooperation with Moscow recently, prompting speculation that Turkey might be moving away from the US, which is supporting Kurdish militants in Syria.
Russia and Turkey successfully brokered a similar accord earlier this month following the defeat of militants, which ended years of fighting in the strategic Syrian city of Aleppo and facilitated the evacuation of residents from the city.
Shamkhani further emphasized that any political path and negotiations which would weaken Syria’s legal government, give away parts of the country’s territory to terrorist groups or result in the foreign military occupation of the country “run counter to people’s interests and are a threat to regional countries and are doomed to failure.”
‘War against terrorists will continue in Syria’
The SNSC secretary also said the liberation of Aleppo was a turning point in Syria’s political and military developments as well as the equations of power in the region.
“The war on Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra (Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) terrorists will continue in Syria and the armed groups which are not following the terrorist front must make use of the ceasefire opportunity and return to the negotiating table with Syria’s legal government,” Shamkhani added.
He emphasized that a relentless fight against terrorism and intra-Syria talks would be the sole path to the restoration of peace and security to Syria.
The Iranian official said the liberation of Aleppo thwarted Western countries’ plot to partition the Middle East region and proved that coherence and coordination in the resistance front can lead to the victory against terrorists.
The Syrian military announced on December 22 that it had gained full control of the northwestern city of Aleppo, having completely cleansed its eastern side of militants for the first time since 2012.
The victory came about despite support for the militants by the United States, Turkey, and some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region.
‘Syria will never allow partition’
Muallem and Mamlouk said Syria would proceed with the relentless battle against terrorist groups and their sponsors.
They added that the Syrian government and nation would never allow their country’s division, the persistence of terrorists’ presence in Syria or any foreign military occupation.
Iranian, Syrian FMs discuss Syria developments, ceasefire
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his visiting Syrian counterpart held three rounds of talks in Tehran on the latest developments in Syria and the current ceasefire in the Arab country.
The top Iranian and Syrian diplomats also discussed the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country, the fight against terrorist groups and political initiatives for peace talks.
Muallem arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a day-long visit at the head of a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.