Syrian president visits Iran in rare trip abroad


DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Iran and met with officials there on a rare trip abroad in which he thanked the Islamic Republic for its support throughout Syria’s conflict, official news agencies in Syria and Iran said.

Assad met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on the trip — the first time he has traveled anywhere other than Russia since the Syrian civil war erupted nearly eight years ago.

Tehran has given the Syrian government billions of dollars in aid since the conflict began and sent Iran-backed fighters to battle alongside his forces — assistance that has helped turn the tide in Assad’s favor.

Syrian state TV says Assad “thanked the Islamic Republic’s leadership and people for what they have given to Syria during the war.” Assad’s office said “both sides expressed their satisfaction with the strategic levels reached between the two countries in all fields.”

Syrian and Iranian media released photos showing Assad, in a dark suit, in an embrace with Khamenei and shaking hands with Rouhani, both of them smiling

Watch: Matt Gaetz Hilariously Torches Democrat Senator Accused of Bribery on House Floor

Assad has only ventured outside his war-ravaged nation twice since the conflict began — both times to Russia. This week’s visit to meet Iranian leaders is his third since protests against his family’s decades-long rule broke out in March 2011.

The protests prompted a harsh response from Syrian security forces, which led to the emergence of an insurgency. The resulting war has killed some 450,000 people and driven millions from their homes.

The visit to Iran comes a day before a trip by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russia for talks expected to focus on Iran’s role in Syria.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City