The Guardian reports: Iranian leaders have claimed a military victory in Aleppo, with the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s chief military aide boasting that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces would have been unable to retake the besieged city without support from Tehran.
“Aleppo was liberated thanks to a coalition between Iran, Syria, Russia and Lebanon’s Hizbollah,” said Seyed Yahya Rahim-Safavi. “Iran is on one side of this coalition which is approaching victory and this has shown our strength. The new American president should take heed of the powers of Iran.”
Iran’s defence minister called his Syrian counterpart to congratulate him and Mohsen Rezaie, a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, wrote on Instagram that Iran’s aim was to cleanse “terrorists and Takfiris [apostates]” from Syria and Iraq.
The parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, also congratulated Assad’s government, saying that US and British policies had hit a dead end in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. [Continue reading…]