IRANIAN Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, have reiterated their countries’ absolute determination to resolve the problems in the region, vowing to respond to Israel’s threats and confront its aggression.
In a joint press conference held in the Syrian capital Damascus on Saturday night, the two top diplomats announced they had discussed bilateral relations, regional issues, counterterrorism efforts, and measures to confront the Israeli regime’s attacks.
‘We discussed issues of common interest and ways of enhancing permanent and long-term cooperation to serve the people of our two countries,’ Amir-Abdollahian said.
Underlining Syria’s territorial integrity, Amir-Abdollahian said Syria is at the forefront of the fight against the fake and occupying Israeli regime, adding that the Syrian government, leadership, and people will not allow the Zionists to compromise regional security or the security of their own country.
‘We continue to offer unwavering support for the resistance to ensure lasting security in the region against the threats posed by the fake Israeli regime,’ the top Iranian diplomat added.
He condemned the Israeli aggression against Syria and stressed: ‘Iran will continue supporting Syria to counter the terrorist war it has been facing,’ vowing the Islamic Republic’s support for the unity, integrity, and safety of Syria’s territory.
‘There is no doubt that the relations between Iran and Syria are strategic,’ Amir-Abdollahian said.
‘We proudly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never and will never leave its friends and allies alone in difficult times.’
In an earlier meeting with the representatives of Palestinian resistance groups, Amir-Abdollahian said: ‘Whenever we wished, we have responded to the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.’
Rejecting the Israeli regime’s claim about Iran’s attempt to target Israeli tourists in Turkey, Amir-Abdollahian said, ‘This is a fake scenario by the Zionists; we have nothing whatsoever to do with a bunch of old female Israeli tourists.’
Iran also points out that the Zionist regime is in the worst security and political crisis it has ever experienced.
The top Iranian diplomat stressed: ‘The Islamic Republic’s stance (on the issue of Palestine) will never change until a unified Palestinian state is established across their historical homeland with Holy al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital.’
Mekdad, for his part, condemned the West-led efforts aimed at expanding the circle of terrorism and war in the region and warned the Zionist regime that Syria is capable of responding to Zionist attacks.
‘We tell the US-backed power Israel that it has its limits and must know that its attacks will not go unanswered,’ the top Syrian diplomat added.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists.
The Tel Aviv regime mostly keeps quiet about its attacks on Syrian territories which many view as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s increasing success in confronting terrorism.
Israel has been the main supporter of terrorist groups that have opposed the government of President Bashar al-Assad since foreign-backed militancy erupted in Syria.
Mekdad also pointed to the deeply-rooted relations between the two countries and ways of improving the situation in the region, saying Damascus-Tehran relations would benefit the whole region and the world.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military has carried out a missile strike against Syrian territory, firing a salvo of surface-to-surface missiles from the occupied Golan Heights, targeting positions near Quneitra in southwestern Syria.
Elsewhere during the joint press conference, Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran is working towards a political solution to keep Turkey from invading northern Syria after Ankara threatened to launch a new offensive against the country.
Iran is ready to offer a solution to ease Syria-Turkey tensions, he said.
‘We voiced readiness to offer a political solution to help in this regard. We will expend all our efforts to prevent any military operation,’ he said, adding that he had also spoken to Turkish officials about a diplomatic solution.
‘Any Turkish military action in the north of Syria would be a destabilising element in the whole region,’ he said.
The Syrian foreign minister also welcomed Iran’s efforts to ease Ankara-Damascus tensions, saying: ‘We have trust in the Islamic Republic of Iran and not the others.’
Turkey has been conducting several incursions against neighbouring Syria’s northern parts since 2016 to fight back against Kurdish militants known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Ankara associates the YPG with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which it has branded as a terrorist group, which has been fighting a deadly separatist war against Turkey for decades.
- The Palestinian Authority’s Commission of Detainees and Ex-Prisoners Affairs has submitted a request to the Haifa Magistrate’s Court for an autopsy on the body of Saadia Farajallah, a Palestinian mother who died in the Israeli prison of Damon on Saturday.
Farajallah, aged 68, a mother of eight from the town of Idna in the south of the West Bank, was detained by the Israeli occupation forces in December while she was near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and has been in detention ever since.
The request, submitted by the Commission’s legal staff represented by Dr Karim Ajwa on Sunday, demands an investigation into the circumstances of her death as well as the immediate handing over of her body to her family.
Farajallah is believed to be the 230th Palestinian to die while in Israeli imprisonment or detention.
She was one of 29 female Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in the Israeli prison of Damon, near Haifa.
Of these 29 female Palestinian prisoners in Damon, the longest serving is Maison Musa, from Bethlehem, who has been in prison since 2015 and is serving a 15-year sentence.