The top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that he hoped Syria’s army and its allies would drive the “occupying” U.S. troops out of the country and “liberate” Idlib from anti-Assad insurgents.
“Idlib is an important Syrian city, and we hope it will be liberated very soon,” Ali Akbar Velayati told a news conference in Damascus, according to Reuters. “East of the Euphrates is also a very important area. We hope big steps will be taken in order to liberate this area and expel the occupying Americans.”
On February 13, Syria’s Idlib province reportedly became free from the Islamic State after the remaining group of terrorist militants surrendered to hardline Syrian rebels who are opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
Now, Iran and Syria have set their sights on freeing the province from the anti-Assad rebels who seek the overthrow of his regime.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Velayati told state TV during a visit to eastern Ghouta in Syria that Iran “will stand by Syria’s government against any foreign aggression … Iran backs Syria in its fight against America and the Zionist Regime (Israel).”
Those statements were in response to President Donald Trump’s comments about conducting a military strike out on Syria in retaliation for the deadly chemical attack allegedly carried out by the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad on Saturday.
The attack left dozens dead and at least 1,000 more wounded.
Syria has denied carrying out the attack.
On Thursday, Trump wrote that an attack on Syria could take place “very soon or not so soon at all,” conveying to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad that the consequences for their actions in Syria would be seen without warning.
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
Also on Thursday, CNBC reported that Washington plans to strike eight targets in Syria. A timetable was not given.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) April 12, 2018