Rus­sia, Iran, Syria co­or­di­nate in Tehran talks

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

TEHRAN—The defense min­is­ters of al­lies Iran, Rus­sia and Syria on Fri­day held talks in Tehran on press­ing the fight against op­po­nents of Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

The talks come as Da­m­as­cus steps up its mil­i­tary cam­paign against both the ISIS mil­i­tants and rebels in sec­ond city Aleppo whom it ac­cuses of col­lud­ing with al-Qaeda’s Syria af­fil­i­ate al-Nusra Front.

Ira­nian Defense Min­is­ter Gen­eral Hos­sein De­hghan said he and his coun­ter­parts from Rus­sia and Syria were de­ter­mined to de­liver a “de­ci­sive” bat­tle against “all ter­ror­ist groups”.

De­hghan said the goal could be achieved by “block­ing or pre­vent­ing” these groups from re­ceiv­ing po­lit­i­cal sup­port or weapons that could en­able them “to con­duct wider op­er­a­tions”.

The fight against “ter­ror­ism” must be done based on “a mu­tual pro­gram and spec­i­fied pri­or­i­ties,” he said af­ter the talks, the re­sults of which should be seen “in the com­ing days”.

“We made de­ci­sions for what must be done on the re­gional and op­er­a­tional lev­els in an agreed upon and co­or­di­nated man­ner,” state tele­vi­sion web­site quoted De­hghan as say­ing.

“The ter­ror­ists and their sup­port­ers must know that the group fight­ing against them is de­ter­mined to sup­port this route un­til the end and will do so. “The first step to­ward restor­ing se­cu­rity to the re­gion is com­pre­hen­sive cease­fire” and hu­man­i­tar­ian aids, said De­hghan. “We agree to a guar­an­teed cease­fire that doesn’t lead to the strength­en­ing of ter­ror­ists in this coun­try,” he said, adding that “sup­port­ing the Syr­ian army forces” was an­other ma­jor topic. A Rus­sian defense min­istry state­ment be­fore the meet­ing said talk­ing points were “pri­or­ity mea­sures in re­in­forc­ing the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the defense min­istries of the three coun­tries in the fight with ISIS and al-Nusra ter­ror­ist groups.”

Iran and Rus­sia are Syria’s main al­lies against the var­i­ous armed groups fight­ing As­sad, in­clud­ing ISIS mil­i­tants.

Moscow has sent war­planes and spe­cial forces in sup­port of his regime, while Tehran has de­ployed mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers and trained and equipped pro-gov­ern­ment mili­tias.

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