Iran ready to ‘train’ Syrian army forces, says commander

Army Day parade in Tehran on April 18, 2013 (AFP)

Iran said on Sunday it was ready to help support the Syrian army with training assistance, in a stark statement from an Iranian army official

General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Islamic republic’s army ground forces, was quoted as saying on Sunday that Iran would not be actively involved in army operations, but he did give an offer to train them.

“As a Muslim nation, we back Syria, and if there is need for training we will provide them with the training, but won’t have any active involvement in the operations,” he said in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency.

“The Syrian army has accumulated experience during years of conflict with the Zionist regime (Israel) and is able to defend itself and doesn’t need foreign assistance,” he added.

Earlier, Iran condemned an Israeli attack on Syria and urged countries in the region to stand against the action, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, a Western intelligence source said, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky.

The Fars news agency paraphrased Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying Iran condemned Israel’s strike on Syria and said it was part of an effort by Israel to create instability and insecurity in the region.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:39 - GMT 06:39