Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he needs the assistance of Iranian and Hizballah forces in Syria and they will stay for as long as they deem necessary.

In an interview with Iran's Al-Alam TV late on June 13, Assad said Iran does not have any military bases in Syria, unlike Russia, but he said that if there is "a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate" to provide them.

"Iran is an allied country,as [is] the case with Russia," he said.

Assad said he has received critical support from Iranian advisers and fighters as well as Iraqi Shi'ite militias and the Lebanese fighters in Hizballah's militia in his seven-year civil war against Sunni rebels, which has killed more than a half million people.

He said those fighters are still needed for the government to regain control an estimated 40 percent of the country that is still controlled by rebel forces.

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