Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi says Tehran has offered Syrian President Bashar Assad’s family an asylum in Iran, but he refused, arguing his family is no different from other Syrian families.
The Syrian president was informed about the offer by Major General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), but Assad “declined the offer”, saying his family “is like the rest of Syrian families and they will remain in Damascus,” said Alavi in an interview with Lebanese television station al-Mayadeen.
The Iranian minister went on to say that the “plot against Syria” began when Damascus sided with the Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah on the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in July 2006.
During the 34-day war, known as the July War, Israeli regime waged a full-scale war on the Lebanese soil and killed some 1,300 people of the Arab country, displacing about a million others. The war also severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Alavi also said that the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has been hatching “plots and conspiracies” against Iran from the city of Raqqah, its de facto capital in the Syrian soil, among other places, adding that if Iran had not fought terrorism in Syria and Iraq, it would have had to do so in its western provinces.
“Daesh has attempted, several times, to send terrorist teams inside Iran,” Alavi further said, adding that the attempts were foiled and “all those terrorists were either annihilated or arrested during the past months.”
Commenting on Tehran’s relations with its allies, Alavi stressed that his country “does not weaken the protection of its allies”, and that they “are stronger than ever today and achieve victories day after day.”
Iran has sent military advisers to Syria to contribute to the Arab country’s fight against terrorists wreaking havoc there.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.