Syria's Deputy-Commander-in-Chief and Defence Minister, Major-General Mustafa Tlas on Thursday (16 October) accused Iraq of serving United States' interests by fighting Iran.
GV PAN FROM Guard of Honour at Aleppo air base TO General Mustafa Tlas saluting from top of jeep (2 shots)
GV General Tlas saluting from rostrum
SV Graduates marching past rostrum (2 shots)
SCU General Tlas speaking in Arabic
SV Graduates saluting and taking oath
SV General Tlas presenting graduation certificate to graduate
GV Helicopters flying past platform
GV MIG Planes flying past platform in formation (3 shots)
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Background: Syria's Deputy-Commander-in-Chief and Defence Minister, Major-General Mustafa Tlas on Thursday (16 October) accused Iraq of serving United States' interests by fighting Iran. General Tlas made his claim at a ceremony marking the graduation of a new batch of air force pilots, technicians and crew at an air base near Aleppo in Northern Syria.
SYNOPSIS: On October the 6th, Syria strongly protested to Iraq against reports that Syrian and Libyan troops were fighting alongside the Iranian army. A Syrian government spokesman said that, since the Gulf war began, the Iraqis had been condemning Syria, which he said, had remained silent because of the circumstances' of the conflict. Syria recently issued a communique saying it supported the historical role of the Iranian revolution, and Iran's right to decide its own destiny without outside interference. But they have called for a halt to the hostilities with Iraq.
At Thursday's (16 October) ceremony, General Tlas, speaking for President Hafez al-Assad, repeated his call. He claimed the United States had kindled the war to destroy the military potential of Iran and Iraq, and to keep them from pursuing the struggle for the Palestinian cause.
General Tlas told the graduates the Gulf war served only Israel, American imperialism, and enemies of the Arab nation. He felt it was drawing the hostility of the friendly Iranian revolution.
Earlier this month, General Tlas went with President Assad to Moscow for high-level talks aimed at strengthening Syria's close relations with the Soviet Union, its main arms supplier. After meeting President Leonid Brezhnev, the Syrian leader signed a new 20-year friendship and co-operation treaty. In practical terms, the treaty committed Moscow to increasing Syria's military strength for defensive purposes.
The Syrian armed forces, -- as well as the Iraqis -- were already large equipped with Soviet weaponry. The Soviet Union has publicly declared its neutrality in the Iran-Iraq war, but has promised to continue routine arms shipments to Iraq. Western and Arab diplomats said that the Soviet leaders' agreeing to a formal treaty, after what appeared to be months of negotiations, suggested the Kremlin felt that President Assa was firmly in control.