Tehran, 16 Rajab 2437/24 April 2016 (MINA) – Tehran offered Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family an asylum in Iran from where he could safely command his army, but the leader refused to leave the war-torn country, Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said Saturday.
According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen, cited by Channel News 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.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with forces loyal to Assad fighting several opposition factions and extremist groups. Unlike the West, supporting the so-called Syrian moderate opposition, Tehran and Moscow maintain that the Syrian president is the legitimate authority in the country.
The five-year Syrian civil war has claimed over 250,000 lives and has displaced millions.(T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)