Edited by Nelly Tawil
Allies of President Bashar al-Assad, presidents Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin have agreed on working more closely together over the Syrian conflict.
Instigated by US-Russian support, UN-arbitrated peace talks are underway between the Syrian government and Western-backed opposition as part of a diplomatic push intended to end the five-year conflict with casualties ranging up to more than a quarter million.
The Kremlin refused to give any more information besides confirming the presidents of Iran and Russia had exchanged views on the conflict as well as an assortment of other topical issues over a phone call.
President Rouhani was cited saying that Tehran and Moscow collaboration and co-ordination were instrumental for peace in Syria “but this should not halt the fighting against terrorists in Syria”.
President Assad’s successful recapture of desert city Palmyra from Islamic state militants has earned him congratulatory comments from both the Kremlin and the secretary of the Iranian National Security Council (NSC).
The Islamic state was driven out of Palmyra on Sunday by Syrian government forces that were accompanied by Russian air support. The army considered it to have dealt a “mortal blow” to militants who apprehended the city last year and destroyed its ancient temples.
NSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani said, “The Iranian government and armed forces will continue their full support of Syria and the Axis of Resistance.”