The rare meeting of the
Chiefs of Staff of the armies of Iran, Iraq and Syria has introduced many controversial
decisions, including the formation of the Shiite Liberation Army, with the aim
of liberating Jerusalem and abolishing the borders between the three countries.
According to observers, the declared goals represent only Iranian dictates that aim at strengthening the Iranian influence in Syria and Iraq under the pretext of the liberation of Jerusalem.
While the Iraqi government has expressed the country's need for the US troops tasked with fighting ISIS in Iraq, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Othman al-Ghanimi met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Bagheri and Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub to discuss opposition to the US role in Syria on Monday.
They stressed that the declaration of forming this army, is basically a declaration of some Iraqi-Iranian-Syrian gangs that consist of 200,000 mercenaries, revealed by Iran's Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, last week.
Iraq has announced plans to reopen a strategic border crossing with Syria in the coming days, a military official said. The announcement came during the meeting.
During a press conference, Othman al-Ghanimi, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, said “the coming days will witness the opening of the border crossing and the continuation of visits and trade between the two countries."
In 2013, the Al-Qaim border was closed to support Iraqi security forces in combating al-Qaeda fighters and later ISIS. The border crossing is expected to increase the flow of goods from Iran to Syria.
According to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, the meeting in Damascus focused “on countering terrorism and sustaining stability in the region."
According to observers, the meeting triggered US concerns of Iran’s growing influence in the region.
In what Iranian media called a “tripartite” meeting, the three held a joint press conference in Damascus. It is the latest visible sign of an Iran-Iraq-Syria entente that will aid Iran’s ambitions in the region and comes on the heels of a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq.