The governments of Iran and Syria have signed a pact to strengthen military and defense cooperation.

The deal was signed on Wednesday in Damascus by Iran’s armed forces chief, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, and Syrian Defense Minister, Ali Abdullah Ayyoub. Bagheri said that the military agreement is aimed at “fighting terrorism and countering American pressure.”

Syria was one of the few countries that supported the Iranians during their bloody 1980-88 war with Iraq. And in 2006, the two countries signed a deal cementing their military alliance. They share a disdain for Washington.

“The people and countries of the region do not welcome the presence of the United States, and our response to the American prattling will continue,” Bagheri added in a statement that was carried on Iranian state television.