Illegal foreign forces must leave Syria: Iran military chief

Press TV – Iran’s top military commander says foreign forces, who are illegally present in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib and east of the Euphrates, should leave these areas at the earliest.

“[Those foreign] forces who are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government must leave the Syrian soil as soon as possible,” Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said upon his arrival in Damascus on Sunday.

Baqeri added that he plans to take part in a tripartite meeting with senior Syrian and Iraqi commanders to coordinate efforts made by three countries in their fight against terrorism and also to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces from Syria.

“As Iran has come to Syria at the official invitation of Syria’s government, the presence of other countries should also take place through the Syrian government’s coordination and authorization,” Baqeri said.

The top Iranian commander said Iran, Syria, Russia and Iraq as well as the resistance front managed to make great achievements during the recent years in the fight against terrorism thanks to their very appropriate coordination and added that efforts would continue to fully liberate Syria.

He also noted that he would hold separate talks with military officials of Syria and Iraq on ways to boost cooperation among the armed forces.

Back in December, the top Iranian military commander said despite its mainly peaceful defense doctrine, the Islamic Republic maintains powerful military presence in the region, warning certain regional countries against inviting the US to the Persian Gulf to hatch plots against Iran.

“Security in the Persian Gulf islands has been realized through the presence of the elite forces and use of the most modern military equipment,” Baqeri said.

Over the past years, Iran and Russia have been respectively lending military advisory support and aerial backup to the Syrian military in its battle against Takfiri terrorists.