TEHRAN – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad praised Russia and Iran for agreeing to his government’s request for help in the war on terrorism, saying the door is open for Iran, like Russians, to have military bases in Syria if need be. <link> <link> link> [image: Assad Sees No Problem in Establishment of Iranian Military Bases in Syria] <link>
In an interview with al-Alam news network, Assad underlined that Iran does not have any military bases in Syria .
“Since Iran is an ally of Syria , like Russia, there is no obstacle to the existence of such (Iranian) military bases (in Syria),” the Syrian president said.
He also noted that Iranian and Russian forces are in Syria at the request of Damascus.
If necessary, Syria will ask Iran to establish military bases for assistance, he said, adding that Tehran has not made any such request so far because its interests are limited to fighting terrorism.
“If we feel in the course of cooperation, coordination or negotiations with the Iranians that we may need Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate (to ask Iran),” Assad explained.
Asked about any plan to visit Iran, the Syrian president said such a visit has been only postponed, not cancelled, because of the extraordinary war situation in Syria .
Assad added that he will pay a visit to Iran soon, at the earliest opportunity.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIL), controlling parts of it.
The conflict has reportedly claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Throughout these years, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.