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Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Five - 12 February 2024
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Five - 12 February 2024 - Page 7

Assad: Israeli escalation a Western attempt to save regime

International Desk

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that Israeli escalation in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon is a Western-led attempt to get the regime out of the impasse and save it.
Bashar al-Assad made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Damascus on Sunday.
Assad said the Israeli regime and the West are currently at an impasse over the war in Gaza and that the Israeli escalation in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon is nothing but a Western-led attempt to get the illegal entity out of the impasse and save the regime.
“It is our duty to stand to the utmost of our ability alongside the Palestinian people because what these people achieved during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza has not been achieved since the Palestinian issue arose decades ago,” the Syrian president said.
Israel’s onslaught on Gaza has so far killed more than 28,000 Palestinians since October 7, when the regime launched attacks on the Palestinian territory in response to Hamas’s attack on the occupied territories.
Amir-Abdollahian said Gaza is the “main issue” not only at the regional but also at the international level. He said Syria is on the front line of supporting the Palestinians and their cause.
Pointing to the Israeli regime’s planned invasion of the southern city of Rafah in Gaza, Assad said, “The Zionist entity is not satisfied with the horrific number of crimes it has committed in the current campaign against Gaza, and over the past years of bloodshed, and therefore it is preparing to bring to a head its crimes in the city of Rafah, while the relevant international institutions stand by.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said he had told troops to prepare for an offensive into Gaza’s far-southern city of Rafah, crowded with displaced Palestinians.
The United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Arab nations are warning Israel not to go ahead with the planned offensive, saying it would cause a humanitarian catastrophe.
Hamas also said on Sunday that any Israeli ground offensive on Rafah will “blow up” the captive exchange negotiations.
Talks in Lebanon
Amir-Abdollahian’s meeting with Assad came a day after he held talks with Lebanon’s high-ranking officials in Beirut.
During his visit, Amir-Abdollahian said peace will be restored to West Asia if Israel stops its genocide in Gaza.
In a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib in Beirut, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to his “good” negotiations with the Lebanese officials on bilateral and regional issues, saying that Tehran and Beirut have always been against the expansion of war in the region and believe it is not a solution to the Palestinian issue.
The Iranian foreign minister said Iran and the US have exchanged messages throughout Israel’s four-month-old onslaught on Gaza, including about Hezbollah.  
He said Washington had asked Tehran to request that Hezbollah “not to get widely, fully involved in this war against” Israel.
Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with Israeli military along the Lebanese border to support its Palestinians in Gaza, and has vowed to “fight to the end” should Israel launch a full-scare war on Lebanon.
The Iranian official also held a separate meeting with the secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Nasrallah said he is confident that the Palestinian nation and resistance factions will eventually emerge victorious and the Israeli regime will suffer a humiliating defeat in the Gaza Strip.

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