World War 3: Russia vows to protect Syria with MISSILES as Assad aims to increase allies
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari spoke together and praised their countries’ victories over ISIS.
Mr al-Muallem said that the defeat of ISIS “will benefit all the countries of the region and the world”.
Over the past seven years, Syria has faced battles with not only ISIS but airstrikes from Israeli fighter jets as well.
Russia had hoped to maintain a balance between Syria and Israel, but, earlier this year, a Russian II-20 surveillance plane was shot down by Syrian anti-air defence during a response to an Israeli air raid.
Following the incident, Moscow decided to send Damascus multiple S-300 surface-to-air missile systems as a way of enhancing their ally’s defences.
The Syrian foreign minister said: “Not only Syria will feel safer owing to supplies of S-300 air defence missile systems.
“The deployment of this defence weapon will help make the situation more stable and safe across the Middle East.”
The transferring of the missile systems deeply angered the US and Israel who have both targeted the Syrian military positions in the past.
Israel has conducted over 200 airstrikes against Syria, claiming they were positions set up by Iran while the US has committed multiple strikes saying that they were responding to the use of chemical weapons by government forces.
At the start of the Syrian Civil War, the US, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all helped to fund rebel groups trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, but after the rise of ISIS, the US turned its focus on the militant group.
Russia has been involved in the various conflicts since 2015 with Syria only considering allies Russia and Syria to be legitimate partners.
Syria has repeatedly called for all other foreign forces to leave the country, but the US has said that they will only leave once Iran does.
ISIS has mostly been confined to desert stretches on the borders of Syria and Iraq since the group was at its height in 2014.
The group faced opposition from US-backed Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters, Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces and Iranian-backed Shia Muslims militias and the Iranian and Russian-backed Syrian military.
Despite both countries regaining control from ISIS last year, the conflict with the SDF has caused a split in Syria.
Recently, Syria and Jordan reopened the Nasib border crossing along with the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, but Mr al-Muallem has expressed interest in working with Iraq to reopen the border crossing between al-Bukamal in Syria and al-Qaim in Iraq “soon”.
The Iraqi foreign ministry emphasised “the depth of relations between Baghdad and Damascus based on the common interests and dangers that face the two brotherly peoples, pointing out that Iraq is keen to open new horizons for cooperation in all fields, especially in the field of counter-terrorism in order to preserve the achievements of Iraqis and Syrians in their war against ISIS terrorist gangs”.
Prior to the overthrowing of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the Baathist leaderships in Iraq and Syria were constant rivals.
Now, Tehran and Damascus have established new ties with Baghdad in the hopes of bettering the two countries’ relationship.
While Iraq has ties to the US, earlier this year, Baghdad said they are interested in acquiring new Russian air defences.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Russia would be willing to deploy troops in Iraq like they did Syria if asked.
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