Two major allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say they will work together to find a solution to the deadly crisis. Nathan Frandino reports.
With air strikes still devastating Syria nearly every day, a solution to the crisis seems ever more elusive. But after more than four and a half years of war, two of Syria's most important allies announced they will try to end the conflict. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, HOSSEIN AMIR ABDOLLAHIAN, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "Tehran and Moscow intend to use all their possibilities and all their potential together with Syria to help Syria come out of this crisis." Iran and Russia have backed President Bashar al-Assad ever since the conflict began. And according to satellite imagery courtesy of Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence and advisor firm, Russia's support includes a strong military presence. Moscow has been increasing its forces in Assad's stronghold of Latakia... drawing attention from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING: "For the moment, it is the judgment of our military and most experts that the level and type represents basically force protection, a level of protection for their deployment to an airbase given the fact that it is in an area of conflict." The West and several Gulf Arab states have repeatedly said Assad has no place in Syria's future... an assertion contested by Iran. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, HOSSEIN AMIR ABDOLLAHIAN, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "Bashar Assad, a legitimate president of Syria, within any initiative will be a part of political resolution of the Syrian issue." Syria's civil war has killed an estimated 250,000 people with many more continuing to flee.