Tehran: During his first visit to the Islamic Republic since the start of the Syrian conflict, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. This was his first trip to Iran since the war erupted nearly eight years ago. Assad has only ventured outside Syria only twice since the conflict began, both times to Russia.
As reported by Syrian and Iranian media the two leaders agreed “to continue cooperation at all levels for the interests of the two friendly nations.” On the occasion Assad “thanked the Islamic Republic’s leadership and people for what they have given to Syria during the war.”
It must be noted that Tehran has given the Syrian government billions of dollars in aid since the conflict began and sent Iran-backed fighters to battle alongside his forces – assistance that has helped turn the tide in Assad’s favour.