Iran-Russia Coop. Thwarts US’ Anti-Syria Strategy

Iran-Russia Coop. Thwarts US’ Anti-Syria Strategy Iran-Russia Coop. Thwarts US’ Anti-Syria Strategy

A senior security official said close cooperation among Iran, Russia and Syria in recent operations against militants in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria has upset the US plots.

"It defeated the US, which was using delaying tactics to impose its will in the Syrian battlefields," he said.

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told IRIB News Agency on Monday that the US and its Middle East allies have made huge efforts to protect "terrorists who, under the disguise of moderate opposition, have committed countless crimes against the Syrian people".

"To set back the plot of the US and its allies ... takfiri terrorists were dealt a nasty blow by air and ground [strikes near Aleppo] in Syria," he said.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Aleppo has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and militants in the east.

A takfiri regards followers of some Islamic sects who do not toe their line as apostates punishable by death. They are a major section of opponents of the Syrian government and seek to establish their own rule in the country.

Syrian forces have recently engaged in a major operation to liberate the militant-held areas of the city as well as the province with the same name.

"In recent operations, some western and Arab countries, which have an illusion of being powerful in changing regional equations, were outwitted by Iran's political, defensive and security initiatives," Shamkhani said, pointing to Iran's role in "coordinating capacities of one of the world's strongest air forces [referring to Russia's Air Force] for defending the oppressed people of Syria and dealing with threats to Iran's national security."

Both Tehran and Moscow back the Syrian government against its opponents. Iran has been providing advisory assistance to the Syrian Army and since September 2015, Russia has been conducting airstrikes against the self-styled Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

  Strategic Collaboration

Shamkhani touched on the recent Russian use of an Iranian air base to target militants in Syria, saying, "Iran-Russia strategic cooperation is not limited to the anti-terror fight and has wider dimensions."

Last Tuesday, Russia's Ministry of Defense announced that its fighter bombers flew from the Nojeh air base, near the western city of Hamedan, to launch strikes against IS and other militants fighting to topple the Syrian government.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday that the Russian use of the Hamedan air base for hitting targets in Syria had come to an end.

Russian Defense Ministry said on the same day that Russian military aircraft have successfully completed their tasks and any further use of the airfield depends on mutual agreements.

Shamkhani pointed to complex and widespread threat of terrorism to Iran's national security and said, "Strengthening deterrence against threats, particularly that of takfiri terrorists, is an irreversible strategy of Iran and we will constantly use domestic and foreign capacities to strongly pursue this strategy."