Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Russia and Iran plan to use any means necessary to end the years-long crisis in war-torn Syria, the Israeli Walla news website reported Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Abdollahian said both Iran and Russia would continue “dialogue” with the Syrian opposition but insisted that embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad must be part of any solution to the conflict.
According to Mehr, “consequences of Israeli regime attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque” were also on the agenda of a meeting between Abdollahian and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
Talks between the two deputy foreign ministers began on the same day as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the outskirts of Moscow.
Netanyahu and Putin discussed coordination between the Russian military and the IDF, with Israel vowing to prevent advanced weaponry reaching Assad ally and Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah via Syria.
A Syrian military source told AFP on Tuesday that Damascus has received new warplanes and reconnaissance aircraft from Russia to fight against the Islamic State group, confirming unofficial reports coming from the US and the media.
“Our air force has taken delivery of at least five fighter planes from Moscow as well as reconnaissance aircraft which allow us to identify targets with great accuracy,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The official said the aircraft had arrived on Friday at a military base in Latakia province, the traditional heartland of Assad’s regime. Moscow has also delivered other “sophisticated military equipment to fight IS,” the official said.
“These are defensive and offensive weapons” including “sophisticated arms that target with accuracy and precision-guided missiles,” the official said.
“Russian weapons are starting to have an effect in Syria,” the official said.
“The Syrian military has started using them in the cities of Deir Ezzor and Raqa, in particular against IS positions,” the official said.
Another military source in Latakia told AFP the army had “received Russian reconnaissance planes that will allow Syrian ground and air forces to accurately identify targets.”
The deliveries also included “radars and infra-red binoculars,” the source said.
— AFP contributed to this report.