Iran and Russia use shared base in Syria: Security

AFP , Tuesday 20 Dec 2016

Iran and Russia are sharing a base in war-torn Syria to help coordinate their support for President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a top security official in Tehran said Tuesday.

The official, however, also criticised a UN Security Council resolution which passed on Monday with Russian support on the Syrian city of Aleppo.

"We have a shared base in Syria where Iran, with Russia's help, does advisory work to help the Syrian army and the resistance forces," said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, quoted by Tasnim news agency.

He said Russia and Iran worked closely together "to design the military aspect of the fight against terrorism" and also coordinated on "the use of Iran's air space".

However, Shamkhani criticised the UN resolution passed with Russia's support to deploy observers to Aleppo, saying it would allow the "intelligence and military elements of countries that support terrorism" into the devastated city.

"No role has been devised for the legitimate government of Syria, and instead of giving priority to the aid to people under siege by terrorists in Syria, only the safe evacuation of armed forces from Aleppo has been considered," he said.

The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran were meeting in Moscow on Tuesday for key talks on the conflict in Syria.

Russia briefly used a base in western Iran to fly bombing sorties over Syria in August but that was halted after several days following an apparent diplomatic spat.

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