International

Iranian defence minister arrives in Syria for talks

In this August 13, 2018 picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry, Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami walks past the missile Fateh-e Mobin, or Bright Conqueror, during inauguration of its production line at an undisclosed location, Iran. Iran on Monday said it launched a production line for a radar-evading, short range surface-to-surface missile capable of hitting targets in any weather condition.

In this August 13, 2018 picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry, Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami walks past the missile Fateh-e Mobin, or Bright Conqueror, during inauguration of its production line at an undisclosed location, Iran. Iran on Monday said it launched a production line for a radar-evading, short range surface-to-surface missile capable of hitting targets in any weather condition.   | Photo Credit: AP

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Iran should remove its forces from Syria.

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami arrived in Syria on Sunday for meetings with “senior defence and military officials” according to the Tasnim news agency.

Iranian forces have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war.

“We hope to have a productive role in the reconstruction of Syria,” Mr. Hatami said on arrival in Syria, according to Fars News.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Iran should remove its forces from Syria.

Senior Iranian officials have said their military presence in Syria is at the invitation of the Assad government and they have no immediate plans to withdraw.

More than 1,000 Iranians, including senior members of the elite Revolutionary Guards, have been killed in Syria since 2012.

The Guards initially kept quiet about their role in the Syria conflict. But in recent years, as casualties have mounted, they have been more outspoken about their engagement, framing it as an existential struggle against the Sunni Muslim fighters of Islamic State who see Shias - the majority of Iran's population - as apostates.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 5:49:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iranian-defence-minister-arrives-in-syria-for-talks/article24784017.ece

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