Saudi policy on Syria escalating regional tensions: Iran’s DM

Tasnim – Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan denounced Saudi Arabia for fanning the flames of crisis in Syria by sponsoring terrorist groups and for aggravating tensions in the region.

In a meeting with Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian Arab Army General Ali Abdullah Ayoub in Tehran on Tuesday, General Dehqan decried the Saudi regime for supporting terrorist groups in Syria and serving the interests of the US and the Israeli regime, moves that sap the Islamic world’s strategic capacities.

The Iranian general said the Saudi kingdom does not care either about Islamic values or about the Syrian nation, adding that Riyadh’s conduct has intensified tensions and crises in the region.

He also slammed a recent US military strike against a Syrian airbase as an attempt to boost terrorist groups’ morale, ensure the Tel Aviv regime’s security, and justify its illegitimate presence and aggressive measures in the region.

Dehqan further warned neighbors of Syria that violation of the Arab country’s territorial integrity would only escalate the crisis and result in the spread of war and bloodshed.

For his part, the visiting Syrian general hailed Iran’s support for the Damascus government in the fight against terrorism since the onset of the crisis in 2011.

General Ayoub also pointed to Israel’s blatant support for terrorists in Syria, saying Washington, Tel Aviv, and terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front are attempting to upset the region’s geopolitical balance and disintegrate Muslim countries.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

In the meantime, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.

Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.