Bashar Assad warned against hitting U.S. troops in Syria
04 June, 2018, 08:55
He was referring to al-Tanf region in southern Homs province, where the Pentagon has a military base. "They [the agreements] stipulate that this de-escalation zone should consolidate stability, while all non-Syrian forces must be withdrawn from this area", Lavrov said.
But it appears only a matter of time before Damascus moves its forces south. Russian Federation has hinted that "foreign forces" should withdraw from Syria, and Israel has interpreted that to include Iran.
Israeli officials have maintained that they can not tolerate a continued Iranian military presence in Syria.
A top Iranian general denied reports his military and Tehran-backed militias were withdrawing from Syria, Iranian media reported Sunday.
"The U.S. troops should withdraw from Syria and Syrian sovereignty over the Tanf area is undoubted", he said.
"There are Iranian advisers in Syria some of whom were martyred while working with the Syrian Arab army and their presence is part of an agreement and in co-ordination with the armed forces on where they should be", al-Moallem said. The SDF, which Assad dubbed the "only problem left in Syria", would be confronted with force if negotiations fail, the president said.
"Of course", he added, "I will reiterate an unchanging truth: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons".
The US's presence in Syria is not sanctioned under global law.
More than 2,000 USA troops are now in Syria fighting alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the northeast as well as in the enclave of At-Tanf in the south along the Jordanian border.
Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in what is widely viewed as an attempt to prop up the terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats at the hands of Syrian soldiers. As part of the deal, Russian Federation is also demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces - including Iranian, American and Turkish forces - from Syrian territory.
In the meantime, Bashar al-Assad told RT channel earlier this week there had never been any "Iranian troops" on the Syrian territory.
Syria's foreign minister says Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country.
"In talks this week between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuand Russian President Vladimir Putin, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well, Netanyahu stressed that Iran needs to leave all of Syria", the official said.
Tel Aviv hit back over 30 airstrikes targeting several known jihadi redoubts and training camps inside Palestinian-controlled Gaza, in one of the heaviest Israeli aerial barrage since the 2014 war with Hamas.
"Neither Turkey, nor U.S. has a right to negotiate [about] the [fate of the] Syrian cities", he said, as cited by the Syrian SANA state news agency.
But Assad said Iran's presence in Syria has been limited to officers assisting the army.
In the meantime, the Russian Investigative Committee has launched its own investigation into Babchenko's death. He accused Ukraine and its "Western handlers" of seeking to use it to stir up anti-Russian sentiments.
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