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Head of Iran's elite Quds Force says Iran will support Syria "until the end"

Last modified: 5 Sep 2013 11:58

Iran will support Syria "until the end" in the face of possible US-led military strikes, the chief of Iran's elite Quds Force unit was quoted Thursday by the media as saying.

Iran is Syria's main regional ally and some analysts believe a wider goal of US President Barack Obama's determination to launch a strike against the Damascus regime is to blunt Tehran's growing regional influence and any consequent threat to Washington ally Israel.

"The aim of the United States is not to protect human rights ... but to destroy the front of resistance (against Israel)," Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani was quoted as saying.

"We will support Syria to the end," he added in a speech to the Assembly of Experts, the body that supervises the work of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He did not elaborate on the nature of the support and Iran has constantly denied allegations by Western powers that it has sent military forces to prop up President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime.

Iran's Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan, meanwhile, ruled out sending troops or weapons to Syria.

"The Syrians do not need us to provide them with weapons because they have a defensive anti-aircraft system themselves," he was cited in the local media as saying.

- Agence France Presse