Syria’s army and its allies will keep fighting in Syria after the battle ends in Deir al-Zor province, where Islamic State has its last significant stronghold, President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday.
He also indicated that he might take the war to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls more than a quarter of Syria, by saying the war targeted those who seek to “divide and weaken states”.
His comments came after a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“The victories against terrorist organizations, starting in Aleppo and not ending in Deir al-Zor, formed a critical strike that foiled partition projects and terrorist goals,” Assad’s office quoted him as saying.
Assad regards all the groups fighting against the Syrian state as terrorist groups.
The Syrian army, with Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, is waging an offensive against Islamic State in the eastern Deir Ezzor province, mostly on the west banks of the Euphrates River.