“The Western coalition is of a formal nature; they have no real intention to fight either in Syria or in Iraq. We don’t see any preparedness on their part to play a truly useful and meaningful role in fighting Daesh because it is they who have nurtured terrorists, and they are interested in keeping them there,” Dehqan told RT.
According to the defense minister, Iran has never coordinated its operations with the Americans and “will never collaborate with them”.
“Maybe the coalition forces would like to see terrorists weakened, but certainly not destroyed, because those terrorists are their tool for destabilizing this region and some other parts of the world.”
Dehqan also mentioned the Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), saying that terrorists in Syria receive support from the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He also accused Turkey of supporting terrorists on the ground.
“If Iran, Russia and Syria were to reach an agreement with Turkey to end Turkish support for those terrorist groups, particularly Daesh and the Nusra Front, and start fighting them, then I think we would see the situation in Syria improve,” he added.
According to the minister, any cease-fire in Syria demands guarantees and all parties should agree to fulfill the conditions of a truce.
“We must not let Daesh or the Nusra Front take part in the cease-fire. All other groups should start a political process and negotiations with the Syrian government.”
He added that after the truce comes into force, it is important to separate terrorists and opposition groups ready to negotiate with the Syrian government.
All sides should fight Daesh and the Nusra Front, Dehqan stated, adding that everyone should stop supporting terrorists in the political, financial and military fields.
Terrorists in Syria have suffered huge losses in organizational structure and morale in recent months, Dehqan said.
“However, during the recent cease-fire they might have been able to rearm, regroup, and prepare for upcoming fights. During the battle for Aleppo they lost many commanders and fighters. These losses made terrorists leave Aleppo.”
Supporters of terrorists
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has “confirmed evidence” that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria.
“What were the coalition forces saying in the beginning? They were saying: ‘We will fight against the terrorist organization, Daesh, until the end.’ In fact, they were accusing us of supporting Daesh. Now, they’ve all disappeared. On the contrary, they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh... It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with photos and videos,” said Erdogan during a press conference.
Following Erdogan’s claims, US State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said that it was “ludicrous” to even suggest that the US-led coalition is backing terrorist groups in Syria.
“I mean it’s ludicrous, to be honest. No basis for truth, as you can all imagine. You know, I don’t think anyone can look at our actions on the ground leading the coalition in northern Syria, in Iraq, and say anything other than that we’re 100 percent behind the defeat and destruction of Daesh,” he said.
He added that the US is working constructively with Turkey to defeat the terrorists, and is constantly in contact with Ankara over how to do so.