PHOTO: President Assad with Iran’s Supreme Leader (File)

[Editor’s Note: Initial reports — including an article in Russia’s State outlet Sputnik News — indicated that Alavi had offered asylum to Assad as well as his family. However, Al-Mayadeen’s latest report does not refer to the President leaving for Iran.]

Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi has reportedly claimed that Syria’s President Assad refused an offer of asylum for his family in the Islamic Republic.

Lebanon’s pro-Assad outlet Al-Mayadeen said that the offer was made so Assad could continue the fight against Syria’s rebels from his exile in Tehran.

However, according to Alavi, Assad said “his family was like any other Syrian family” and would remain in Damascus.

The Minister said the offer was made by General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Soleimani was organizing forces inside Syria until he was injured near Aleppo last November.