THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Iran pledged that its "axis" with Syria will "never" be allowed to break when Tehran sought to bolster President Bashar al-Assad by sending a senior envoy to Damascus.
Mr Assad made his first appearance on state television for over a fortnight, promising to continue the struggle against his enemies "without respite".
Iran has been trying to guarantee the survival of Mr Assad, who serves as Tehran's only reliable ally in the Middle East, by supplying Syria's regime with funds, weaponry and expert personnel to aid the campaign against rebels.
Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, came to Damascus as a visible symbol of that support.
"Iran will never allow the resistance axis – of which Syria is an essential pillar – to break," he said. The "axis of resistance" refers to the Middle East's anti-Western powers: Iran, Syria and the armed groups, Hizbollah and Hamas, although in reality the latter has already broken away by ending its presence in Damascus.
Iran and Syria both claim that foreign countries have caused the uprising against Mr Assad with the aim of destroying the "axis". During his visit, Mr Jalili echoed that message. "What is happening in Syria is not an internal issue but a conflict between the axis of resistance on one hand, and the regional and global enemies of this axis on the other," he said. » | David Blair, Richard Spencer in Aleppo | Tuesday, August 07, 2012