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Iranian commander hails Syrian army's "strategic victory" in Aleppo

ALEPPO, SYRIA - DECEMBER 6: Civil defense team members carry out search and rescue works after the war crafts belonging to the Syrian Army bombed the bazaar in the Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on December 6, 2016. ( Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd - Anadolu Agency )

The Syrian army and its allies' liberation of Aleppo, Syria's second largest city, is a "great and strategic victory", Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)'s Deputy Commander, General Hossein Salami, said on Sunday.

Salami noted that the victory was a "strategic transformation and a turning point in the war on terrorism and a deadly blow to the terrorist project and its supporters". He added that it defused the US plots to disintegrate Syria and to reach the "US dream of the Greater Middle-East".

In the wake of Aleppo's victory, the Iranian official has sent a threatening message to Israel saying "After the victory of Hezbollah in Aleppo, it will not hesitate to do similarly to the cities of Israel." Hezbollah "is ready to stage battles in Tel Aviv, Acre, Nahariya and other cities".

Sky News quoted Salami on Sunday, in aninterview with the Hezbollah affiliated channel Al Mayadeen, as saying: "Hezbollah has now become an influential regional power on par with the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Zionist entity".

In July, he stated that there are tens of thousands of missiles in Lebanon ready to strike Israel.

For his part, IRGC's commander, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, has stated earlier that Aleppo constitutes the frontline for the Iranian forces, paving the way to intervene in Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq's Mosul after backing Assad's regime in Aleppo.

Last Thursday, the Syrian army announced it had retaken full control of Aleppo from rebel fighters, describing the recapture as the government's biggest victory in the nearly six-year civil war. The ancient city of Aleppo had been divided into rebel and government parts since 2012.

On a similar note, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone conversation on Thursday congratulated his Syrian counterpart Bashar Al-Assad on the liberation of Aleppo, saying it is the Islamic Republic's duty to support the "flag-bearers" of the fight against terrorism.

In the past three years, hundreds of Iranian soldiers have been killed in Syria while fighting against armed opposition groups.

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