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Iran Stresses Advisory Presence in Syria
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Iran Stresses Advisory Presence in Syria

A senior official on Saturday rejected allegations that Israel had intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria, saying Tehran only provides military advice to the Arab country. 
Israel claimed it launched airstrikes against air defenses and Iranian targets in Syria on Saturday and the Syrian army said it had hit an Israeli F-16 that crashed in northern Israel.   
The Israeli military claimed the F-16 jet came down during a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in Syria and that it had sent its jets into the war-torn country after shooting down an Iranian drone flying over Israeli-occupied territories, Reuters reported.
"Claims of an Iranian drone flying [over Israel] and also Iran's involvement in downing a trespassing fighter jet is too ridiculous to be addressed because the Islamic Republic of Iran basically has an advisory presence in Syria at the request of the country's legitimate and legal government," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, ISNA reported. 
Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main regional ally and denies having any conventional armed forces in Syria. 
  
***Right to Defense
Qasemi also said Syria has every right to defend itself against any act of aggression. 
"The government and army of Syria, as an independent country, have a legitimate right to defend its territorial integrity and counter any foreign aggression," he noted. 
The official added that spreading lies is so characteristic of Israel, which has always been seeking to cover up its atrocities against Muslim nations. 

***Liars 
Earlier on Saturday, General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, declined to comment on the reports. 
"We do not confirm any report coming from Israel. If the Syrians confirm it, we will also confirm it because Israelis are liars," he said, according to Tasnim News Agency. 
Salami noted that only Iranian military advisors are present in Syria, adding, "The presence of the Syrian army is itself enough to defend [the country's] territories." 

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