March 28, 2016 / 6:56 AM / 4 years ago

Iran congratulates Syria's Assad on regaining Palmyra

A general view inside the historic city of Palmyra after forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad recaptured the city, in Homs Governorate in this handout picture provided by SANA on March 27, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) - The secretary of the Iranian National Security Council has congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on regaining the city of Palmyra, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

“The determination of the Syrian nation, government and army to eliminate terrorist and takfiri groups from the occupied territories is something to be proud of,” Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying.

“The Iranian government and armed forces will continue their full support of Syria and the Axis of Resistance,” he added.

Iran refers to the regional anti-Israel alliance as the axis of resistance and to hardline Sunni Islamists as takfiris.

Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a “mortal blow” to militants who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, editing by Louise Heavens

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