US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey
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US: Iran's Syrian role 'a deep concern'

The chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has said Iran is working to develop a militia within Syria to fight on behalf of the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.

General Dempsey was speaking at a joint news conference in Washington with the US Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta.

''We are seeing a growing presence by Iran (in Syria) and that is of deep concern to us,'' Mr Panetta said.

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