Iran is said to have offered Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family asylum in the Islamic Republic — an offer that was declined by the embattled leader.
According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen, cited by Israel’s Channel 2, the Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi said his country offered to have Assad and his family resettled in Iran, from which the Syrian president could continue to lead his military campaign against opposition groups in the war-torn country.
Alavi told the news channel that the offer came from Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite unit, the al-Quds Force, which operate in Syria alongside Assad’s military forces and Hezbollah militants.
According to Alavi, Assad refused the offer, saying his family was like any other Syrian family and would remain in Damascus.
The Iranian minister also claimed that Syria was on the frontlines of “plans and plots” against Iran and that the Islamic State terror group was continuously attempting to send terror cells to the Islamic Republic.
Alavi reiterated Iran’s strong support for Assad and said the ties between the two countries was “stronger than ever,” according to al-Mayadeen.
The five-year Syrian civil war has claimed over 250,000 lives and has displaced millions.