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Top Iranian military general calls for closer defense ties, joint drill with Syria

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri presents visiting Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas with a plaque of honor in Tehran, Iran, on January 23, 2023. (Photo by DEFApress news agency)

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has praised Syria for standing at the forefront of support for Palestine against Israel ever since the regime illegally occupied and annexed Arab lands in 1967, calling for stronger defense ties and plans to hold a joint war game with the country.

“Muslims and Arabs are duty-bound to stand by Syria in this regard. You have done a great job, put up considerable resistance,” Baqeri said at a meeting with visiting Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas in Tehran on Monday.

He added, “The Zionist regime has perpetrated all forms of crimes over the past decades, occupying Palestinian territories, and it must be held accountable to the peoples of the world. This is while some Arab countries have turned to normalization of ties [with Israel] and betrayed the cause of Palestine as well as Arab and Muslim worlds.”

“The Syrian government and nation have thwarted the plot hatched more than a decade ago. They defended their homeland through strong willpower and steadfastness. We felicitate you and your colleagues on this victory,” the top commander noted.

“Thank God, Syria was able to foil the conspiracy of its enemies. The plot could have plunged the Muslim world and the West Asia region into turmoil. This was a laborious task,” Baqeri said.

He noted that Iran has provided advisory support to the Syrian Army, and lost several military advisors in the fight against foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups.

Iran’s highest-ranking military commander also paid tribute to Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020, as the most renowned figure in the fight against terror in Iraq and Syria.

He expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help Syrian military forces in restructuring, training, and supplying equipment.

Baqeri stressed the need for staging a joint military exercise by Iran and Syria.

For his part, the Syrian defense minister highlighted the close interaction between Damascus and Tehran in the fight against terrorism and the common Israeli enemy.

Abbas also lauded the Islamic Republic of Iran for backing his country during the crisis and for standing against Israel, emphasizing that Syria will continue to fight against the occupying Tel Aviv regime and stand by the nations seeking independence.

Iran maintains an advisory mission in Syria at the request of Damascus with the aim of helping the war-torn Arab country get rid of the foreign-backed militants, who have been fighting against the democratically-elected Syrian government since 2011.

In 2017, Iran’s advisory assistance helped Syria defeat the Daesh terrorist group. 

General Soleimani played a key role in the disgraceful defeat of the Takfiri outfit.

Israel has been a key supporter of the terrorist groups operating on the soil of Syria and has targeted the positions of Iran’s military advisors as well as those of the Syrian army and resistance groups that have been fighting the terrorists.

Back on November 22 last year, a senior member of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division was killed in a terrorist bombing using an explosive device near the Syrian capital city of Damascus.

The IRGC said in a statement at the time that Colonel Davoud Ja’fari, who served as a military advisor in the war-ravaged Arab country, lost his life when a bomb planted by Israeli agents on the side of a road near Damascus went off.

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