“For us in Syria, there is no such thing as moderate or non-moderate opposition. Whoever that takes up arms against the Syrian state is a terrorist,” Walid al-Muallem said following his Wednesday meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran.
Muallem’s comment came after the White House authorized using air strikes to defend the so-called moderate militants trained by the US if they come under attack by government forces or other militant groups.
Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said US aircraft and drones are arriving at Turkish air bases, adding that a so-called battle against ISIL will be launched soon.
Muallem further said Syria had been “contacted” by the US about new plans for backing the US-trained militants, saying Damascus opposes any uncoordinated military move inside its territory.
“The US contacted us … and said it was for fighting ISIL and not the Syrian army at all, and we said that we were with every effort seeking to fight ISIL,” said Muallem, adding, however, “That should be done through coordination and consultation with the Syrian government otherwise it would be a violation of the Syrian sovereignty.”