A Syrian rebel fighter from the FSA holding his rifle near Nairab airport in the countryside of Aleppo. File photo
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Beirut, Lebanon – On Tuesday, the Syrian Defense Minister arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on an official two-day visit, in order to strengthen mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to meet with his Iranian counterpart and other military leaders in order to “strengthen the mutual cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism”.
The state agency added that Gen. Freij will discuss with the military leadership in Iran the “common challenges facing the two countries and how to provide security and stability to their people.”
Syrian political activist, Abed al-Fawal, told ARA News that the visit of the Syrian Defense Minister to Iran is to ask for more Iranian help in the military arean, “especially after the recent successive defeats of pro-Assad forces in the province of Idlib, northwestern Syria, which enabled the opposition forces for the first time during the conflict to link Latakia with Idlib and Hama.”
“These last developments pose a major threat to the popularity of the pro-Assad forces, in the cities, towns and villages of the Syrian coast (where Alawites constitute a majority),” al-Fawal argued.
“Al-Freij will most likely ask Iran to provide the Syrian regime with Iranian military personnel and professional officers in order to fight the opposition forces in various areas of Syria, especially now that the regime is in dire need of highly qualified soldiers and officers after losing tens of thousands of fighters over the past four years,” al-Fawal told ARA News.
It is worth mentioning that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly denied the presence of Iranian fighters on Syrian soil fighting alongside his army, but acknowledged that there were Iranian advisers and officers providing logistical support to his forces. However, the Syrian armed opposition forces has released several videotapes showing confessions of Iranian and Afghan fighters (who were captured by the rebels) saying they’d been recruited by the Syrian regime to fight the opposition under the pretext of combatting terrorism.
Reporting by: Salman Mohammed
Source: ARA News