Ebrahim Raisi in Syria

Ebrahim Raisi has flown to Damascus for the first state visit by an persian president to Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, as capital seeks to bolster its political and economic influence over the Assad regime.Homeland has been a long-term supporter of Bashar al-Assad, sending persian militia to help defeat Assad’s opponents, and as the normalisation of relations between Syria and Gulf states nears, homeland wants to ensure it reaps the economic benefits of its support. Raisi is also making the visit now to try to build a stronger anti-Israeli alliance in the region.