Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Iran is to strengthen Syrian air defense capabilities as part of a wider military security agreement between the two countries, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri announced on July 8. The statement was made after the signing of a new military cooperation agreement in Damascus.

The agreement provides for the expansion of military and security cooperation and the continuation of coordination between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Major General Baqeri said that the signed deal “increases our will to work together in the face of US pressure.”

“If the American administrations had been able to subjugate Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance, they would not have hesitated for a moment,” he added.

The major general emphasized that Israel is a “powerful partner” of the US in the war against Syria, claiming that terrorist groups constituted part of the Israeli aggression.

The United States and Israel say that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for the destabilization of Syria and prepare what they call ‘terrorist attacks’ against the US and Israel. In the framework of this approach, Israel, with direct and indirect help from the US, regularly conducts strikes on various supposedly ‘Iranian targets’ across Syria. Often these strikes coincide with attacks by al-Qaeda-linked groups and ISIS on positions of the Syrian Army and its allies.

One of the main points of Israeli concern is the growing military infrastructure of pro-Iranian forces near al-Bukamal, on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Therefore, the announced move by Iran to boost Syrian air defenses, including possible deployment of additional air defense systems, is a logical step for them to take to protect their own interests.

The common concern of both Israel and the United States is that the strengthening of Syrian air defenses neutralizes their only real power other than nuclear. Without undisputed control of the air the Western powers and Israel are incapable of a significant military intervention anywhere in the world.

Since the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, China has backed Iran in developing its missile technology both shore to ship and anti-aircraft. Russia has also supported Iran. For the first time in March this year Russia and Iran held joint naval exercises in the Straits of Hormuz.

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