(Photo Credit: AP)
A senior defense minister of Iran affirmed that the Islamic Republic feels “obliged” to bolster Syria’s air defense systems in a bid to repel future aerial attacks from Israel.
Hamzeh Qalandari, an Iranian Brigadier General and deputy minister for international affairs, affirmed Tehran’s commitment to securing Syria’s skies on the sidelines of a ceremony commemorating the International Mine Awareness Day and Assistance in Mine Action in Iran’s capital.
He further reiterated that Tehran is committed to assisting all its regional allies in the field of air defenses. During the ceremony, he said, “We find ourselves committed to helping friendly countries, like Syria, improve their air defenses and fend off aerial attacks.”
He noted that Syria used to be completely defenseless; however, in recent months, Damascus has repelled several Israeli airstrikes from the occupied Golan Heights.
The Brigadier General also mentioned that there has been a growing interest in Iranian weapons since the UN lifted an arms embargo on Tehran.
Israel regularly targets military positions in Syria, which typically results in killing civilians and soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), yet Tel Aviv claims that their targets in Syria are primarily affiliated with Iran and the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah. Israel’s airstrikes on Syria are illegal under international law.
The latest Israeli attack in Syria was on 2 April, after warplanes struck targets in the central Syrian city of Homs via Lebanese airspace.
On 31 March, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that Israel’s continuous attacks against the country are indicative of their close level of coordination with extremist militants.
In a statement, the foreign ministry added that Damascus is prepared to face this “fascist aggression” and reclaim sovereignty over the entirety of the country.
In the past, there have been significant levels of coordination between Israel and extremist militants in Syria, particularly with Jabhat al-Nusra – the former Al-Qaeda branch in the country, which is now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
On the same day, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vowed to retaliate against Israel if it continued its illegal strikes against Damascus.