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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran signs agreement to bolster Syria's air defence systems

In a brief video that aired on Iranian TV, Assad is seen receiving Bagheri [Twitter]

Date of publication: 11 July, 2020

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Chief of staff of Iran's armed forces met with Syrian president Bashar Assad during a visit to Syria, where they signed an agreement to reinforce the regime's air defence systems.
Iran's military chief has signed an agreement with Syria's president to reinforce the regime's air defence systems as part of a military cooperation agreement, Iranian state TV reported on Friday.

Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, met with Syria President Bashar Assad during his second visit to Syria since 2019.

Assad said the agreement signed by both sides is the result of "years of cooperation for confronting terrorism" in Syria.

Bagheri said it "will improve the determination of the two nations to confront US pressures", without elaborating.

US ally Israel has occasionally attacked Iranian forces in Syria that Iran says are there to support Syria's fight against rebel groups as part of the country's nine-year civil war.

Israel views Iranian entrenchment on its northern frontier as a red line, and it has repeatedly struck Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys destined for Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In a brief video aired on Iranian state TV, Assad is seen receiving Bagheri and his delegation.

In November, Israeli fighter jets hit multiple targets belonging to Iran's elite Quds force in Syria following rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

Iran, which rarely comments on Israeli strikes, is a key backer of Assad regime's and thousands of militiamen from Iran-backed groups are present in Syria.

The war in Syria has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced more than half of the country's pre-war population since 2011.

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