Syria FM: Iran has no combat forces, bases in the country

04 June, 2018, 08:56 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Syrian forces loyal to Assad attack refugee camp in Damascus

He was referring to al-Tanf region in southern Homs province, where the Pentagon has a military base.

Al-Moallem said that only when USA troops withdraw from the Tanf area near the Jordanian border can an agreement be discussed.

The foreign minister also dismissed the reports of Iranian bases and forces allegedly deployed in Syria.

Russian Federation has said that only Syrian army troops should be at the southern border with Jordan and Israel, which has waged air strikes in Syria to curb what it fears is Iran's expanding influence.

In return, Israel reportedly agreed to refrain from attacking military assets belonging to the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, which Moscow is trying to help regain control over the fractured country.

Assad's threat to use force against USA allies in Syria and about 2,000 American troops providing them with air support and training prompted a warning from the Pentagon.

"[There is] no Iranian military presence on the Syrian territories; rather there are advisors who work by the side of the Syrian Arab Army", Muallem said during a press briefing in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Saturday. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White later clarified the U.S. did not want to get involved in Syria's civil war, and would offer protection only in areas where the SDF are fighting the militant Islamic State group.

Since March 30, at least 120 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by the Israeli army's gunfire near the Gaza-Israel border fence.




This is while Iran and Syria have denied the claim that Iranian forces are operating in the area.

Last month, Washington warned Damascus it would take "firm" action if the regime violated a ceasefire deal for southern Syria that was negotiated with Russian Federation and Jordan a year ago. In the interview with RT, Assad said Russian Federation and the United States came close to a confrontation in Syria.

In Tehran, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told the pro-reform Shargh daily that Iran has no presence in south of Syria but supports Damascus' efforts to regain control over the area.

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said on June 1 he believed Israel and his country had reached an agreement on the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the Syrian-Israeli border, the Times of Israel reported early on June 2, hours before Shamkhani's statement was published.

The agreement appears to be slated to demand that Iranian and Iran-backed forces stay 20 kilometers from the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

Satterfield pitched several options in the meeting, among them one to remove all Syrian forces and militias from the Syria-Jordan border and stationing a Russian police force there instead, while developing a Russian-American supervision mechanism.

But Assad said Iran's presence in Syria has been limited to officers assisting the army.

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