A fighter loyal to Syria's president Bashar Assad holds his picture as fellow fighters rest by a Syrian national flag after gaining control of the area in Deir al-Adas, a town south of Damascus.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Syria's defense minister has started an official visit to its major ally Iran as the head of a military delegation, Lebanon's al-Manar television said on Tuesday.
It gave no further details on the visit of Fahad Jassim al-Freij, but it comes as the Syrian military is facing increased pressure from insurgent groups on the ground in Syria.
Al-Manar is run by Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group which is also an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
It was not immediately possible to confirm the visit with Syrian officials and Syrian state media did not report it.
On the battlefield, the Syrian military has been losing ground to insurgents who are edging closer to the coastal province of Latakia, an important government-held stronghold.
On Monday an alliance of Islamist rebels seized an army base in the northwestern province of Idlib, days after capturing a key town there.
Insurgents are attempting to push the Syrian military out of the province completely after seizing the provincial capital last month.