US Safe Zone Plan Aimed at Disintegrating Syria, Iranian Cleric Warns
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami cautioned against US plots to disintegrate Syria through creating safe zones and supporting the terrorists in the Arab country.
“They (US officials) are seeking to establish safe zones in Syria under the pretext of sheltering refugees,” Ayatollah Khatami said, addressing a huge gathering of worshipers here in Tehran on Friday.
Behind the scenes, they want to protect the terrorists and this (the establishment of safe zones) would be a prelude to the disintegration of Syria, he noted.
The cleric further emphasized that however, Iran will stand against the plots and believes that the unity of legitimate countries, neighbors in particular, should be preserved.
US President Donald Trump has recently said that he would "absolutely do safe zones in Syria" to stem the flow of refugees into other countries.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
In the meantime, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.
Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.