Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 1
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Secretary of the Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that Iran will continue to support the Syrian government in its fight against "terrorism."
Shamkhani added that the Islamic Republic rejects anything that threatens the unity and territorial integrity of Syria or violates its national sovereignty, Iran's Fars news agency reported Oct. 1.
The Iranian official made the remarks during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
It should be noted that the Syrian government and its close ally the Islamic Republic mark the all groups in the Syrian opposition as terrorists.
Speaking about the US-led anti-IS (the Islamic State group) coalition, the sides asserted that combating terrorism must be carried out according to international law, and that success in this regard requires unifying the efforts of the international community and cooperating with the regional countries that are waging war against this looming threat, the Syrian official SANA news agency reported.
"Combating terrorism cannot be carried out by states that contributed to establishing terrorist organizations, provided them with logistic and material support, and spread terrorism around the world," said President Assad.
Both Iran and Syrian government are excluded from the international anti-IS efforts in Syria.
Iranian officials have repeatedly criticized the US-led coalition air-strikes against the (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, saying the IS not only would not be destroyed by the bombardments, but it will be strengthened instead.
Before Syria, Shamkhani paid a one-day visit to Lebanon and met with senior Lebanese officials. During the visit, Shamkhani said Iran will present Lebanese army with military equipment and weapons as a gift.
It should be noted that the IS group has declared war against the Lebanese army, which they claim has assisted the Shiite Iranian-backed Hezbollah group that has de facto control over the government of Lebanon.
The Sunni jihadists say the army has allowed Hezbollah fighters through checkpoints to assist the Syrian army against Syrian opposition forces. Hezbollah contends that it is providing the assistance to maintain the government of Bashar al-Assad.
For the past two months, the Lebanese army has been fighting the militants near the border with Syria. In early August, extremists crossed into Lebanon from Syria, capturing 20 soldiers and policemen. Two of the soldiers have since been beheaded and one has been killed in captivity.
Saudi Arabia last year announced it would give the Lebanese army $3 billion to purchase weapons and equipment from France, but that deal has yet to be fully implemented.
In August, the kingdom offered another $1 billion in funds to allow the army to purchase supplies immediately.
Washington has also sought to bolster Lebanon's military, and this month announced it had delivered a new shipment of Hellfire missiles and would also supply light aircraft.