Iran Signs Deal With Syria to Deepen Military Cooperation

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Tehran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to Assad during the civil war which is in its eighth year.

Iran and Syria reached the deal following meetings Sunday between their defense ministers and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, according to Iran's semiofficial Tasnim News Agency.

"Syria is in a very, very important juncture. It is passing through the critical stage and it is entering the very important stage of reconstruction".

At least 400,000 people have been killed in the war, according to monitoring groups, and the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia estimates the economic damage to the country at over $300 bn.

The comments came a day after a senior United States diplomat, ambassador William Roebuck, visited territory around those bases and said the USA was "prepared to stay" in Syria to defeat ISIL, but was also "focused" on ousting Iran.

Russian Federation has given President Bashar al-Assad crucial support throughout the war in Syria, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and uprooted millions since it began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

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World powers who long called for his ouster insist reconstruction aid should only come with political transition, but fellow regime ally Russian Federation is pressing them to provide support. Syrian state-linked media said the two sides reaffirmed the need the develop long-term cooperation, .

Israel has long called for the complete removal of all Iranian forces from Syria, warning repeatedly that Iran was using its intervention in Syria's civil war to stake out a permanent military presence on Israel's northern border and form a contiguous corridor between Iran and Lebanon controlled by its various proxies.

The two countries have had strong ties for years.

While militants are now preparing provocations from the Al-Nusrah Front in Idlib province, in northwestern Syria, the Russian MoD went on to add, claiming that in order to pull off the chemical attack, some eight canisters of chlorine have already been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city.

Hatami also said Iran can help with the reconstruction of Syria.

Netanyahu insists on Israel's right to strike targets in Syria if they constitute a threat to the Jewish state, such as Iranian weapons depots or drones.