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Shamkhani, Senior Director of Damascus, Moscow, Tehran Joint Efforts in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani meeting with Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu

London-Moscow-The meeting convened between the Iranian, Russian and Syrian ministries of defense, after official Iranian invitation-two days ago- concluded to the assignment of Iranian secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani as the senior coordinator for the political, military and security affairs among the three sides to the meeting.

Shamkhani’s appointment was made official and circulated by the Iran Supreme National Security Council.

Even with Tehran affirming that the meeting was chiefly to confer counter-terrorism strategy in Syria, the Supreme National Security Council announced the assignment of Shamkhani.

The Tehran-held meeting brought together each of Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, Syrian regime chief of staff Fahd Jassem al-Freij and Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan.

As for the Russian side of the story, Moscow media outlets circulated reports on the three convening ministers, looking over coordination of military operations in the Syrian city of Raqqa; ISIS stronghold. The reports also cited an evident attempt to better collaboration between Russian air power and Assad so-called regime forces. The meeting also reportedly conferred on locating a score of targets by Russian air forces.

A well-informed source located in Moscow told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the Raqqa battle was not the chief axis on which the meeting revolved in Tehran.

The source said that Aleppo had a better share with being discussed, which toppled over the importance of Raqqa battles at the meeting. Moreover, the meeting most likely did not end the way Tehran had hoped for it to– the source pointed out that the Iranian party was fishing for a more effective Russian contribution in Aleppo.

Russia had limited its contribution to securing and bolstering areas recently taken over by ally Assad so-called regime forces.

Shamkhani underlined that Tehran’s support for Assad’s regime, “electing a regime and a ruler in Syria is only a right given to the people of Syria,” he said.

This is considered to be the first time that the existence of a senior political, military and security coordinator between Russia, Iran and Syria is made public.

Shamkhani said that Russia and Iran are working for underpinning cooperation in Syria with employing all capacities to punish countries responsible for terrorism there.

Even though analysts specialized in Russian policy had a different take on matters, Shoigu , Freij and Dehghan still announced their support for a truce in Syria, a future which holds a united Syria and which fights terrorism. Shamkhani demanded that the international community supports the pricey joint Russian, Iranian and Syrian efforts.

Iran-based IRNA news outlet reported Shamkhani acknowledging Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts on taking decisions and brave policies concerning the influential military support given to Iranian forces and allies in Syria.

Shamkhani considered that the U.S., the West, and regional sway practiced in the Syria cause is a “media and democracy spectacle to be cashed in electoral and political interests.”

Noteworthy, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Moscow before Russian minister of defense Shoygu left for Tehran.