Syria and Iran have agreed to "intensify efforts to fight terrorism," Syria's defense minister said in Tehran, in an ironic reference to the Syrian opposition forces given that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij, quoted by state news agency SANA, said key allies Damascus and Tehran were on the same page on how to tackle the fight against anti-government rebels after a series of major government defeats, reports AFP.
"We agreed on the next measures to be taken together to confront terrorism," SANA quoted Freij as saying while on a two-day trip to Iran this week. "It is important to intensify efforts to fight terrorism, particularly after the escalation of recent months."
While in Tehran, Freij reportedly was told by senior Iranian sources to start a war front against Israel on the Golan Heights, and to have Iran's terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon take part in the attacks as well.
In the last month, Syrian government forces have suffered a series of setbacks, particularly in northwestern Idlib province.
A coalition of rebels including Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Nusra Front now controls much of the province after seizing its capital, the key town of Jisr al-Shughur and a military base in the last few weeks.
"Syria's enemies will spare no effort to continue their plot," Freij said, in a reference to the rebels and their regional and international backers.
Syria's regime and allies refer to all those seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad as "terrorists" and accuse opposition supporters like Turkey, Qatar and the United States of funding extremism.
Iran's official IRNA news agency meanwhile quoted Defense Minister General Hossein Dehgan as saying "both sides agreed on the need for continuing bilateral cooperation to fight terrorism, extremism and violence and to restore regional stability."
"We will resist the takfiri (apostate) Zionist groups with all our strength," he added, claiming the rabidly anti-Semitic jihadist groups are in league with Israel.
Iran has played a key role in bolstering Assad's regime against an uprising that began with anti-government protests in March 2011 before spiraling into a war after a crackdown by authorities.
It has provided financial aid and military support, spending $35 billion a year propping up Assad's regime, while deploying thousands of its troops in the country along with Hezbollah terrorists.