Sign of the Times? Iran's Military Chief Vows to Join With Syria Against Israel

Iranian Military Chief of Staff General Mohammad Baqeri meets with Turkish Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar (not seen) in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 2, 2017. (Turkish Military/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)

Iran's military chief warned Israel against violating Syrian airspace and territory on a visit to Damascus on Wednesday, Iranian state media said, a sign of rising tensions with Israel as it voices concern over Iranian influence in Syria.

General Mohammad Baqeri also pledged to increase cooperation with the Syrian military to fight Israel and insurgents in Syria, where Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias including Hezbollah have provided critical military support to Damascus.

"It's not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate the land and airspace of Syria anytime it wants," Baqeri said in the Syrian capital at a news conference with his Syrian counterpart.

"We are in Damascus to assert and cooperate to confront our common enemies, the Zionists and terrorists," he said, a reference to Israel and Sunni Muslim jihadists including Islamic State. "We drew up the broad lines for this cooperation," Syrian state media cited the Iranian military chief of staff as saying.

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