Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday in his first visit to the Islamic Republic since the start of the Syrian conflict.

During the meeting, Assad expressed his gratitude to Iran for all that it has done for Syria during the conflict, according to the Syrian presidency’s account on the Telegram messaging app.

During the day, Assad met separately with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

In pictures published by Iranian and Syrian news agencies, Assad appears without a delegation of his own during his meetings with Khamenei and Rouhani. The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, can be seen pictured during both meetings.

Soleimani has become known as a prominent figure in Iran’s foreign military missions in Iraq and Syria.

Source » alarabiya