General’s PR visit to northwest Syria shows Iran’s support of regime campaign to defeat opposition and rebels
The head of Iran’s military, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, has made a symbolic display of Tehran’s support for the Assad regime with a visit to Aleppo Province in northwest Syria.
Baqeri said, as he was photographed with Iranian military advisors, “The life of terrorist groups is coming to an end.” He claimed “unity” and “exemplary coordination” between the Assad regime’s forces and allies, including Hezbollah and Iranian-led foreign militias, in “successive” gains.
The message was aimed primarily at Syria’s opposition and rebels, who held eastern Aleppo city until December 2016 and who still control much of the province. Western Aleppo has been opposition territory since 2012, while a Turkish-backed rebel offensive claimed most of northern Aleppo from the Islamic State in 2016.
Baqeri, who arrived in Syria on Tuesday, has met regime counterparts and was hosted by Bashar al-Assad on Thursday.
Security Forces Block Ex-President Khatami From Attending Meeting
Enforcing new restrictions on former President Mohammad Khatami, security forces have prevented him from leaving his home in Tehran to attend a meeting.
Opposition sites said Khatami was due to meet with his former ministers at his Baran Foundation on Wednesday, but security forces said he was not allowed to go. Khatami’s bodyguards were also informed of the prohibition.
Trying to limit any possibility of the mass dissent that followed the disputed 2009 Presidential election, Iranian officials have banned media from publishing Khatami’s photograph or any of his comments.
Earlier this month, the Special Clerical Court banned Khatami from attending public ceremonies for three months, including meetings, theater performances, and concerts.