Iran’s military chief of staff, Mohammad Baqeri, met with the Syrian Minister of Defence in Damascus and inked “a comprehensive military cooperation agreement”. Baqeri reportedly expressed Tehran’s commitment to “strengthen Syria’s air defence systems in line with the reinvigoration of military cooperation between the two countries”, and said the deal “will increase our determination for joint cooperation to confront the U.S. pressures”. The following day, Baqeri met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who remarked that “this agreement reflects the strategic level of relations between Iran and Syria”. A U.S. military spokesperson subsequently asserted that “the mission of U.S. forces in Syria today remains the same as it was when they first began operations in 2014… U.S. service members will continue to execute the Defeat ISIS mission in Syria, working in conjunction with vetted local forces in northeast Syria and around Al-Tanf Garrison”.
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