Bashar Al-Assad
Bashar Al-AssadReuters

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday met with the visiting Chief of Staff of the Iranian army to discuss military cooperation, The Associated Press reported, citing the official Syrian news agency SANA.

The Iranian general, Mohammad Baqeri, also conveyed a message from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

SANA said Assad’s meeting with Baqeri focused on bilateral relations in all fields, mainly military co-operation, “which has witnessed a qualitative development during the war that Syria and its allies, mainly Iran, are waging against terrorism” in Syria.

Baqeri said during the meeting that the aim of his visit is to “put a joint strategy on continuing co-ordination and co-operation at the military level.” He also stressed Iran’s commitment to help in the reconstruction process in Syria.

On Wednesday, Baqeri met with several Syrian officials and declared that he will cooperate with other countries in order to destroy the "Zionist enemy."

"We arrived in Damascus in order to coordinate and cooperate to confront our common enemies: the Zionists and the terrorists," he said, adding that in his opinion, it is "not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants."

Iran has been a major backer of Assad during the civil war in his country and has been providing him with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces.

Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

A senior Iranian commander said several months ago that Iran will provide military advisors to Syria for as long as necessary and stressed that “the advisory help isn't only in the field of planning but also on techniques and tactics.”

In August, it was revealed that Iran has been building a Scud missile factory in Syria near the city of Baniyas, south of Latakia.