Report: Iranian Defense Minister in Syria for Talks

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami attends the VII Moscow Conference on International Security MCIS-2018 in Moscow on April 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The Algemeiner reports: Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami arrived in Syria on Sunday for meetings with senior defense and military officials as part of a two-day visit, according to the Tasnim news agency.

Iranian forces have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war. “We hope to have a productive role in the reconstruction of Syria,” Hatami said on arrival in the country, according to Fars News. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Iran should remove its forces from Syria.

Senior Iranian officials have said their military presence in Syria is at the invitation of the Assad government and they have no immediate plans to withdraw. More than 1,000 Iranians, including senior members of the elite Revolutionary Guards, have been killed in Syria since 2012.

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