MESOP NEWS UPDATE IRAN / SYRIA Tehran Displays Cooperation with Syria’s Assad Regime

By Scott Lucas –  May 2, 2017 – eaworldview – Following consultations with Russia, Iran has displayed its military cooperation with the Assad regime in Syria’s 73-month conflict.

The Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, met Syrian counterpart General Ali Abdullah Ayoub in Tehran on Monday. No details of the discussion were given, with Baqeri issuing Tehran’s standard rhetoric that “the Syrian Army and nation have put up brave resistance in the face of crimes by Takfiri terrorists and regional aggression and intervention”.

However, there was an indication that the meeting was spurred by the recent airstrikes of the US and Israel against Assad regime positions, with Iranian media citing the incidents in its framing of Baqeri’s remarks.

On April 7, three days after the Assad regime killed at least 92 people in a chemical attack in northwest Syria, the US launched its first direct missile strikes against the Assad regime. Up to 20 jets, hangars, and buildings were damaged at the Shayrat airbase, from where the nerve-agent attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun was launched. Last week, Israeli missiles struck a position near Damascus International Airport. The Israelis have regularly carried out raids seeking to disrupt weapons supplies to the Assad regime’s ally Hezbollah.

Iranian officials — including Baqeri, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan, and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani — met Russian counterparts in Moscow and Tehran last week to review the situation.

Iranian and Assad regime media said on Sunday that General Ayoub had hailed the “decisive role” of Iranian military support “in the continuation of the Syrians’ resistance and their major victories against terrorists and the Israeli regime”.