‘Tehran, Moscow on frontline of battling terrorism’

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani hails Iran and Russia’s successful fight against terrorists in the region, saying the two nations are at the forefront of counter-terror battles unlike other coalitions, which have taken no practical measures to eradicate terrorism.

“Iran and Russia are at the frontline of the war on terror, while others only talk about it,” Larijani said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on Monday.

“Various coalitions have been established to fight terrorism, but it was only on paper, while nothing really happened,” he added, in an apparent reference to the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

The US-led coalition of 68 nations has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has been accused of killing and injuring civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, without achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

“However, Iran and Russia took practical steps to fight terrorism and everyone saw it,” Larijani said, noting that the Daesh terror outfit “suffered a very serious blow in Iraq and Syria.”

Backed by popular groups and Iranian military advisers, armed forces in Iraq and Syria have managed to flush Daesh militants out of their last strongholds in both countries, declaring full victory over the notorious terror group.

Russian jets have been conducting air raids against terror outfits inside Syria at the Damascus government’s request since September 2015.

However, Larijani said the issue of terrorism in the region is not over yet.

“We must admit that there still are terrorist forces in Syria that have been moving to other countries,” he warned.

The top Iranian parliamentarian further said that Tehran would continue to assist Damascus and Baghdad in their fight against terrorists as long as it is necessary.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said almost the entire territory of Syria, including historic Christian regions, has been liberated from terrorists, stressing the importance of restoring peace to enable refugees of all faiths to return home.

“The situation in this country [Syria] is gradually changing. The Syrian armed forces, supported by the Russian military, have liberated from terrorists almost the whole territory of the country, including historic Christian regions,” Putin said at a meeting with the heads of Orthodox Christian congregations in Moscow on Monday.

The Russian leader said that Moscow would help restore holy sites not only of Syria’s Christians, but also Muslims and Jews.

“We will help also the members of other faiths, including Muslims, who, as we are well aware of, have also suffered greatly at the hands of bandits, terrorists and radicals,” Putin said.

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