Iran has no combat troops or 'fixed' bases in Syria: foreign minister

04 June, 2018, 08:55 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • A map of Syria shows the various areas under the influence or control of different countries and groups. In northern Syria in Idlib is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Along the Syrian border Turkey and its allies control a corridor stretching to the Euphrates river

On April 9, an Israeli airstrike against the T-4 airbase in Syria's Homs province killed more than a dozen people, including seven Iranian military advisors. "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agreements] stipulate that this de-escalation zone should consolidate stability, while all non-Syrian forces must be withdrawn from this area", Lavrov said.

An element of the Israeli strategy has also been to back up the diplomacy with force in Syria.

Israeli officials have maintained that they can not tolerate a continued Iranian military presence in Syria.

Muallem said the presence of Iranian military advisors in Syria was legitimate and based on an invitation by the Syrian government and they coordinated their activities with Damascus.

In May, head of the Syrian government delegation to the Astana peace talks Bashar Jaafari called the United States military presence in al-Tanf and nearby Rukban refugee camp in the south of the country as "pure aggression and occupation".

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The Israeli Defense Ministry issued a statement saying the two ministers discussed "the Israeli campaign to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria". Israel says Iranians are operating in the area near its border and has called for Moscow to keep Iranian forces and their allies away from the frontier.

Next week, Netanyahu will leave for France and Germany to discuss Iran's role in Syria and the nuclear deal which the Europeans are trying to salvage after the U.S. withdrawal earlier this month. It's not clear how Israel intends to do that, but Russian officials are said to be confident that Israel has the ability to help Russia in that direction.

"Unlike the American military forces and the regional reactionaries, the Iranian advisers are present in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and people", Jazayeri told Tasnim.

In the interview with RT, the Russian state's global broadcaster, Mr Assad raised the prospect of conflict with USA forces if they do not leave Syria.

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In the course of their recent advances in terrorist-held areas, Syrian government forces have discovered considerable amounts of Israeli-made munitions, including chemical warfare, digital equipment and drugs. The cease-fire means the Syrian rebels have continued to control an area along the Golan and Jordan's border.

The Kurdish militia group SDF that is backed by the United States holds the largest area of Syrian territory outside government control, but it has tried to avoid direct clashes with the government during the multisided war.

Russian Federation has previously granted Israel freedom to carry out air strikes in Syria, although recently Moscow has expressed public disquiet about strikes in which Syrian regime and allied troops were killed.

Mr Assad said Iran's presence in Syria was limited to officers assisting the army.

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.

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