Iran and Syria Seal Military Cooperation Agreement

Deal concluded by their defense ministers at a meeting in Damascus, Tasnim news agency says

Syrian president Bashar Assad meets with Iran's Defense minister Amir Hatami, in Damascus on August 26, 2018.

Iran and Syria signed a deal for military cooperation in a meeting between the defence ministers of the two countries in Damascus, the Tasnim news agency reported on Monday. 

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami travelled to Damascus on Sunday for a two-day visit, meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad and senior military officials, Tasnim reported. 

Hatami, on a two-day visit to Syria, told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV station that the agreement also stipulates helping rebuild Syria's military industry.

The precise details of the agreement were not announced.

The Syrian government does not release casualty numbers, but monitoring groups say the government has lost tens of thousands of fighters since the civil war broke out in 2011.

Iranian forces have backed Assad in the country's civil war. 
Tasnim did not provide any details about the military cooperation deal. 

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Iran should remove its forces from Syria. 

Senior Iranian officials have said their military presence in Syria is at the invitation of the Assad government and they have no immediate plans to withdraw.