Assad Tells Iran: Support for Insurgents on the Rise

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Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus last year.Credit: AP / Archive

REUTERS - Syrian President Bashar Assad told a senior Iranian official on Sunday that his adversaries have increased weapon supplies and financial support to insurgents since the start of a major offensive aided by his allies to regain lost territory.

Assad was quoted by state media as telling Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's supreme leader, that the military support his country was getting from Iran and Russia had pushed the enemy states he did not name to "further escalate and increase financing and equipping of terrorists."

Syrian state TV reported on Saturday that the Syrian army captured territory from Islamic State east of Aleppo, including several kilometers of highway linking the city with the jihadists' de facto capital of Raqqa.

The areas reported captured are east of the Kweires air base seized from Islamic State control on November 10 in one of several offensives being waged by the Syrian army with support from Russian air strikes, Iranian forces, and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. 

The Syrian government and its allies have also made gains against Islamic State to the southeast of Homs. 

They are also waging offensives against non-Islamic State insurgents in western regions of Syria, gaining ground in the northwestern province of Latakia and to the south of Aleppo, while losing territory in Hama province. 

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