Iran says it requested Russian strikes on Syria’s Aleppo
Russian warplanes bombed Aleppo at Iran’s request to assist its military advisors on the ground in the flashpoint Syrian city, a senior Iranian official has said.
Ali Shamkhani, the top official coordinating security and political affairs between Tehran and its allies, Moscow and Damascus, was quoted by state television saying Iran called in Russian strikes “next to the land operation” in Aleppo. “Iran has brought the powerful Russia along... due to its need to cooperate with Syria” in the fight against jihadists, added Shamkhani. Iran and Russia are key backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Tehran has remained relatively guarded about its precise involvement in the conflict.
Russia surprised the international community last week when it announced that its warplanes had flown out of Iran’s Hamedan base to conduct strikes against targets in Syria. That announcement prompted Iranian defence minister General Hossein Dehghan to criticise Russia’s “showing off and inconsiderate attitude”.
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman yesterday denied any differences with Russia over the use of Hamedan.