A senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Syria, which has been fighting foreign-backed militants for over five years, is currently “stronger than any other time.”
“Our assessment is that Syria is in a position of strength more than any other time,” Ali Akbar Velayati told reporters upon arrival in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday.
Velayati also praised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.
“I believe the Syrian president has shown that he can manage the country with prudence and bravery” in the war against Takfiri terrorists, Velayati said.
The Iranian official arrived in Damascus to hold talks with high-ranking Syrian authorities, including Assad.
Upon his arrival, Velayati was received by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad, who briefed the Iranian official on the situation in the Arab country.
The Syrian official also expressed his gratitude to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and the Iranian government and nation for their support for Syria.
“Iran has always stood by the Syrian nation, and the two countries’ ties are strategic and crucial,” Miqdad said.
He also noted that the Syrian government has always sought a political solution to the crisis in the country, but terrorist groups and their negotiators in peace talks, which are under the influence of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, have selected a different path.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country's pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.