Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
If not for Iran, the "Islamic State" (IS, aka ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group would rule the entire Syria, says Major General Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, said Iran has helped the Syrian government to stand against the terrorist group, IRNA news agency reported May 23.
The Islamic Republic views the Syrian regime as its main strategic ally in the region, as well as a part of the "axis of resistance" against Israel.
Tehran has always expressed support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Western countries accuse Iran of running military operations in Syria, but Tehran denies those accusations. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that they only provide military consultations to the Syrian forces.
Soleimani further said the US has been forced to back off from all of its purposes in the region.
The Islamic Republic is definitely the winner on all the frontlines in the region, he said, adding however Iran's presence on certain frontlines in the region is not significant.
He said for instance, Tehran has a very low presence in Yemen, but the "enemies" are facing defeat in the country due to their "wrong logic."
As a result of the war in Yemen, the Shiite rebel group Ansarollah's power in the country has been consolidated, added Soleimani.
Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014, when rebels overran the capital Sana'a, forcing President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.
Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition, which includes Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, has been battling the rebels to restore Hadi to power.
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of providing military support to the Yemeni Shiite rebels, something that Tehran denies.