Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hosted Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Monday in Damascus to discuss Iraq following the June 30 withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities and towns.
al-Sadr heads the Mehdi Army, which fought against US forces in Iraq until signing a peace agreement in 2007. Since the agreement, al-Sadr has remained largely out of sight though he remains among the most influential religious and political leaders in Iraq.
Salah al-Obeidi, spokesman for al-Sadr, said the two discussed the Iraqi security situation. Iranian television reported that al-Assad stressed the importance of Iraqi unity.
While little has been released about the meeting, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that al-Assad stressed “the brotherhood friendship” between Syria ad Iraq.
Al-Sadr also reportedly praised Syria’s support of the Iraqi people.