Syrian official met with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks on bilateral relations and the ongoing efforts by the Assad regime to root-out all opposition and Islamist elements operating within the war-torn-country. Following a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid Al-Moualem, the Iranian top diplomat asserted that all terrorists must be “cleaned out” of Idlib province in northwestern Syria. Furthermore, Minister Zarif stressed that his visit aimed at coordinating the Iranian position with senior Syrian officials – ahead of a summit scheduled for Friday, with heads of states that took part in the Astana peace talks. “For the Friday meeting which will take place in Tehran, in line with the agreements of the Astana (peace talks) negotiations, we will discuss reconstruction in Syria as well as how to confront the remnants of extremist and terrorist groups in Syria, particularly the Nusra Front, in Idlib province,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
According to an Iranian source, Syria requested that Iran continue its support for Damascus during the upcoming meeting, as Syrian government forces are planning a phased offensive in its northwestern province of Idlib, which is held by the Al-Qaeda linked group, Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front.