Iranian, Syrian defense ministers condemn U.S. "illegal" presence in Syria

(Xinhua) 10:45, March 18, 2024

TEHRAN, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani and his Syrian counterpart Ali Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday condemned the U.S. "illegal" presence in Syria, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

The two sides made the remarks in a meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran, during which Ashtiani described the U.S. military presence in Syria as "occupation," which is "illegal, unjustifiable, and in flagrant violation of the norms and fundamental principles of international law and the United Nations Charter."

He noted that the U.S. presence in Syria, over the years, has led to instability, insecurity and the displacement of millions of Syrians.

For his part, the Syrian minister said the United States had spared no effort to compromise stability and security in the region.

He added the U.S. presence in Syria was "illegal and aimed at turning the Arab country into a base for supporting separatist and terrorist groups."

Abbas emphasized that the developments that had unfolded in Gaza further revealed the real "hypocritical" nature of the West and the United States to the world.

The two ministers also condemned Washington for stoking tensions in the region, especially in the Gaza Strip, and continued Israeli strikes on Syrian territories and Gaza.

Meanwhile, they highlighted the importance of promoting bilateral defense cooperation, with Ashtiani voicing Iran's readiness to use all its capacities to help the Syrian government improve the country's defense and deterrence capabilities.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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