Assad’s top priority has emerged to be his country’s ‘reconstruction’ as the civil war steps into its eighth year. The civil war had a far-reaching global impact and not to mention been termed as ‘global humanitarian crisis’. Although the superpowers and the Gulf nations have stepped in to help with the country’s reconstruction, which will be taking a lot of resource accumulation and time. Iran is one of the most influential countries in the Gulf region has stepped up to help its counterpart, Syria.

On Sunday as per the Tasnim News Agency, Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami met Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Syrian Defence Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub and signed a deal which would anticipate Iran’s participation and presence on Syrian soil and would help the country in fighting and conquering the remaining one-third of the country, without any third-party meddling in between their bilateral relations. Hatami also added that Syria has arrived at a juncture where reconstruction has to begin from the grassroots level and that this stage is ‘critical’ for Syria as well as its neighbouring countries in the Middle East. The war cost around $388 billion dollars with a death toll of 350,000 have been killed and forced to leave their own country. Assad assured that this deal will be a ‘long-term co-operation’ between Damascus and Tehran, and the military forces dispatched by Iran would be treated as only advisors in the process of reconstruction. The Lebanese Hezbollah, also an Iran backed armed group has favoured Assad and his regime, playing a crucial role in the fight against the Islamic State.

The Northwest province, Idlib, which to date remains with the Islamic state, is being eyed by Syria and its ally to recapture and cleanse the soil of Syria with zero terrorism. However, with Iranian presence the US military base settled in the East might feel slightly uncomfortable considering the recent sanctions. A top US official mentioned that Iran must withdraw from Syria. Reverting back to this statement, Iranian officials mentioned they have no intention of immediate exit.

*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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