DAMASCUS, SYRIA: Two Iranian warships on Thursday arrived to Syria's Lazeqiyya Port after crossing the Suez Canal for a training mission amidst controversy with Israel, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
IRI Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the Iranian warships will fulfill its training mission despite the threats issued by the Israeli government. Previously, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the Iranian mission was a provocation.
"The Zionist regime might create worries for itself and view the issue from a certain point, but we will accomplish our mission heedless of that regime and in full harmony with friend countries in the region," said Sayyari.
The Commander remarked that the visit of the Iranian vessels is a regular naval practice that conveys the "the message of peace and friendship for the entire world countries." Sayyari denied involvement in any war games in the visit.
"The Iranian naval fleet's visit of Lazeqiyya Port is quite a friendly mission and a large number of the IRI Navy University cadets are present in it that are getting trained for presence in long distance voyages," added the admiral.
Sayyari arrived by plane to Syria accompanied by a delegation to participate in a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the two warships to west Syria. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon in the presence of the two countries' top political and military officials.
The controversial passage of the warships through the Suez Canal was coordinated with the Egyptian government. On Wednesday, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army Brigadier General Abdul-Rahim Mousavi said that this action showed the naval power of Iran.
"We are witnessing that the Army has reached a status that its Navy's fleets of warships move miles away from Iran's coasts and are now in the Mediterranean Sea after passing through the Suez Canal," said Mousavi.
Last week, Iran sent a formal request in regards to the passage of the two warships and assured that no military equipment, nuclear or chemical contents were in the ships. The passage was granted after approval by the Egyptian Defense Ministry.
This was the first time that an Iranian ship will sail in the crossing since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and raised concerns in the international community. The United States monitored the transit of the Iranian ships because the White House considered that the Islamic nation has not behaved responsibly in the region.
The two Iranian warships are an Alvand Warship, equipped with thunderbolt throwers and ship to ship missiles, and a Khark logistical and fuel carrier ship, capable of carrying 250 sailors and three helicopters.
The fleet carried a number of Iranian Navy cadets to west Syria in order to be trained and prepared for defending the cargo ships and oil tankers against the continued threat of attack by Somali pirates.
(BNO NEWS )