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Iran's security chief stresses support for Syria

Syrian Arab Republic,Diplomacy,Defence/Security, Sat, 02 Feb 2013 IANS

Damascus, Feb 2 (IANS) Iran's supreme national security council chief Saed Jalili stressed Saturday that his country will keep supporting Syria in the face of foreign aggression, reported Xinhua citing the state TV.

Jalili arrived in the Syrian capital Saturday for a three-day visit, during which he will meet Syrian cabinet members and a number of Damascus-based Palestinian factions, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Sunday. He will wrap up his visit with a press conference Monday morning, sources told Xinhua.

The visit comes amid tensions between Syria and Israel following an Israeli airstrike that targeted a military research centre near Damascus at dawn Wednesday.

Upon his arrival in Damascus, Jalili said the Israeli attack targeted the Syrian people, according to the TV.

Although the details surrounding the rare air raid are still murky, Syria threatened Thursday to retaliate for the brazen attack, and its main regional ally Iran said there will be repercussions for the Jewish state over the air raid.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying that the raid on Syria will have significant implications for Israel.

Israel kept silent about the incident as the United Nations called for self-restraint.

Johnny Mnair, a Lebanese political expert, told the OTV Saturday that the targeted facility was believed to have contained a stock of sophisticated jamming devices used to track down and disable satellite phones' communications used by the rebels.

After the bombing, Syria said the bombed facility in Jurmaya had been repeatedly targeted by the rebels who failed to storm it, adding that the Israel did what the rebels could not.

US officials said the Israeli airstrike targeted a convoy heading form Syria to Lebanon and speculated that it contained anti-aircraft weapons. Syria denied the claim and said it was a research centre for scientific purposes.

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