Syrian, Iranian chiefs of staff: Turkey’s presence in Syria is “act of aggression”

Damascus, SANA – Chief of the General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Ali Ayoub on Wednesday held official talks with his Iranian counterpart Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri that saw a comprehensive assessment of the strategic achievements realized in relation to combating terrorism over the past period.

The two sides also discussed the relations between the armies of Syria and Iran, pointing out to a mutual desire to enhance these relations and to open new prospects for developing them in the best interest of the two countries and armies.

The viewpoints were identical on most of the issues discussed, particularly with regard to confronting terrorism and the challenges facing the Axis of Resistance.

In a joint press conference following the talks, Lt. Gen. Ayoub said “We held plenary talks which included a comprehensive assessment of all the current developments, and we discussed in detail the relations binding our armies and the mutual desire to enhance these relations.”

Ayoub affirmed that communication with the Iranian military leadership continues and coordination is taking place at various levels, noting that the two armies have gained advanced experience in the planning and coordination of combat operations, which will play a very important role in eliminating terrorism and confronting all possible threats.

He added that the role of the Resistance Axis “will be further enhanced and its ability to face different challenges will increase,” stressing that the terrorist Takfiri project is coming to an end and that the “decisive victory over terrorism is just around the corner.”

Ayoub said the victories of the Syrian army, with the support of friends and allies, are a source of worry to the supporters of terrorism, led by the United States which, that is trying to hinder the army’s advance whether through direct intervention or by supporting affiliated militias and terrorist tools such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in order to prolong the war and to drain the capabilities of the army to serve the Zionist-American interests in the region.

“We will not allow any party, regardless of the forces standing behind them, to affect the efforts exerted towards aiming terrorism and preserving the unity and sovereignty of the entire territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Ayoub affirmed.

He elaborated by saying that “if some parties believe that they can exploit the state of instability under the war, we affirm that they are mistaken,” adding that Syria is walking towards recovery at an accelerated pace and that “the American support for these parties will not last, and they will be the biggest loser in the end.”

In his comment on Turkey’s activity in Idleb, Ayoub said what the Turkish aggression forces have done is contrary to what was agreed upon in Astana,” reiterating that “the presence of these forces inside the Syrian territory is an act of aggression that violates all international laws and norms. We deal with this presence as an occupying force, whatever their pretexts are, and we have the full right to confront it using all means.”

For his part, Maj. Gen. Bagheri affirmed that Iran will continue to support the Syrian people, army and leadership in facing terrorism until eliminating it and foiling its backers’ plots.

“We are here in Damascus to stress our coordination and cooperation in the face of our common enemies of the Zionists and terrorists,” Bagheri said, adding “We discussed means of enhancing relations in the future and dew the main outline for this cooperation.”

He reiterated Iran’s support with Syria’s territorial integrity, saying “no armed force or formations have the right to enter the territory of another state without its consent, and those who violate that are considered aggressors.”

Bagheri also stressed his country’s rejection of the Zionist enemy’s land and air attacks on Syria.

He stressed the need to abide by the legal course of establishing a state’s authority in all the regional countries and rejection of the “sham” referendum imposed or instigated by the conspirators in the regional countries.

“We hope that we will not see mistakes such as that made by Masoud Barzani of conducting the referendum in northern Iraq and taking steps for sham independence in that region, and consequently dragging it to confrontation and dragging the tools of the Zionist enemy to it through illegal steps that violate the Iraqi constitution,” Bagheri said.

He also called on the Kurds to return to the rule of law and claim their rights through the wise leadership of the government of Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Bagheri arrived in Syria on an official visit upon the invitation of Gen. Ayoub, as he was received at the headquarters of the General Staff of the Army along with with a number of officers of the General Command.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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