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Iran Denies Troops Are In Syria, But Will Boost Support

Iran denies that has troops in Syria but says it will step up its military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime by increasing its advisers for fighting terrorism.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on October 17 that there were no Iranian soldiers in Syria, despite a claim by a U.S. official the previous day that as many as 2,000 fighters from Iran and some other regional countries are in Syria supporting Assad's forces.

"We have military advisers in Iraq and Syria at the request of the governments of the two countries," Abdollahian said.

"We are going to step up our aid to Syria in the form of advice on the fight against terrorism."

Iran is a key ally of Assad and is coordinating with the Syrian Army and Russian air forces to fight against rebel troops that have been fighting since 2011 to overthrow Assad.

An estimated 250,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war and millions have been displaced.

Based on reporting by AFP, Iranian TV, and