The Syrian delegation, the report claimed, included other senior security officials, including the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate and the meeting was said to have lasted for four hours.
The Syrian’s allegedly rejected the American proposal. “You are here as an occupying force. You came onto our land without permission and you can leave in the same way,” Mamlouk was quoted as saying. “Until that happens, we will treat you as an occupying force.”
Mamlouk also responded to the American demand that Iran leave southern Syria, telling the US delegation that the two countries in the Middle East were now part of a wider axis of cooperation, underscoring that the relations between them, and with the Hezbollah terror group, were strong.
The American proposal, he said, would not be changing the alliance which has been set up for the long haul. At the meeting’s conclusion, it was agreed that the channels of communication between the US and Syria through the Russians would remain in place.
On Monday, Iran and Syria signed a deal for military cooperation in a meeting between the defense ministers of the two countries in Damascus, the Tasnim news agency reported.
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 later said that an “axis of resistance is prepared and ready to always respond to any attack against Syria.”
“The presence of the Iranian forces in Syria is in accordance with a request in Damascus, and no other country has the right to express an opinion on this presence,” Hatami said in an interview with the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen satellite channel.