Assad gains an ally against the Syrian rebels
On Tuesday, Iran pledged to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his quest to quell the 17-month long uprising against the government.
A Reuters article quotes Head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, as saying, “Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way.” The “axis of resistance” is the alliance of Iranian, Syrian, and Lebanese anti-Israel groups.
Jalili also ensured President al-Assad that Iran will provide humanitarian aid to Syria.
Reuters also highlights the importance of Iranian support for the Syrian president’s authority. Among the tens of thousands of Syrians to defect to Turkey and Jordan, Prime Minister Riad Hijab, a part of the Sunni Muslim majority, left the country on Monday.
Meanwhile, rebel forces are trying to maintain control of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city. Reuters reports that while rebels are reporting shortages in ammunition, Assad is reinforcing his troops and gearing up to recapture the city.
According to a BBC report, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has estimated 270 deaths across Syria on Monday alone. Sixty-one of the deaths were reported from Aleppo. Twenty thousand deaths have been reported since the beginning of the conflict.