Syria to Firmly Continue Fighting Terrorism: Iranian Diplomat
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian deputy foreign minister hailed the recent recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra from the grip of Takfiri terrorists by the Syrian army and said Syria will move forward on the path of fighting terrorism steadfastly.
In an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam News Network on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian congratulated the Syrian government, army and nation on the full liberation of Palmyra.
Saying that terrorists have no place in the future of the Middle East, the Iranian diplomat further reiterated that the Islamic Republic will continue to stand by Syria, Iraq, and other countries facing terrorist threats.
Amir Abdollahian also underscored the need for collective efforts at regional and international levels to combat terrorism, warning that it would be detrimental to all sides if regional states and the international community fail to adopt effective measures against the phenomenon.
Early on Sunday, Syrian state television quoted a military source as saying the army had taken "complete control over the city of Palmyra".
Palmyra, known as the "bride of the desert", used to attract tens of thousands of tourists a year before the Syrian conflict started in 2011.
In May 2015, Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) took the city and later demolished some of its best-known monuments.
Capturing the city is a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad's government.
With Russian support, it has made steady gains in recent months against Daesh and other groups it is fighting.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of some fighter jets from Syria, but said that strikes against Daesh and another group, the Nusra Front, would continue.
Those groups have been excluded from a Russian and US-brokered ceasefire that began on February 27 and has largely held.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with Takfiri terrorists, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it, mostly in the east.
The Syrian conflict has killed at least 260,000 people, according to the UN, and more than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.4 million has been internally displaced or fled abroad.