Friday, 19 October, 2018

No Iran in Syria

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 No Iran in Syria
Charlie Simmons | 04 June, 2018, 08:54

He also praised as "glorious" the operation, during which the Syrian army fired dozens of rockets at the occupied Golan Heights in response to the Israeli regime's continued aggression against the Arab country.

"Of course", he added, "I will reiterate an unchanging truth: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons".

Long-simmering tensions between Israel and Iran in Syria stepped up considerably in recent months, beginning in February, when an Iranian drone carrying explosives was flown from the T-4 air base in central Syria into Israeli airspace, and was shot down by an IAF helicopter.

An element of the Israeli strategy has also been to back up the diplomacy with force in Syria. Those areas include eastern neighbourhoods of the northern city of Aleppo, the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and parts of Idlib and Hama provinces to the west.

Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria.

Shamkhani's statement was made after Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, stressed that Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezballah militia should leave southwestern Syria as soon as possible. "There are no fixed military bases for the Islamic Republic of Iran and what Israel is circulating are lies".

The Syrian foreign minister also said that the government seeks to resolve all the existing issues, primarily through negotiations and dialog, adding, however, that, should the diplomatic efforts fail, Damascus would likely be forced to use other means.

The Syrian foreign minister further thanked Iran for helping Syria in the ongoing war against foreign-backed militant groups.

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"Any interested party in Syria should understand that attacking USA forces or our coalition partners will be a bad policy", Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters Thursday.

Netanyahu's comments followed reports in the past few days that Iran-backed forces were preparing to withdraw from southern Syria.

"You should not believe the statements made about the agreement on Syria's south as long as the United States forces have not withdrawn from al-Tanf", he said.

US forces are based in a southern desert pocket further east at Tanf, a strategic highway border crossing with Iraq.

Muallem also said that the presence of USA forces in Syria was illegitimate and they must withdraw from the Syrian territory, including Tanf area in the south.

Over 2,000 United States troops in Syria are embedded with the SDF in the northeast as well as in the enclave of At-Tanf in the south, along the Jordanian border.

Tehran supports Moscow's efforts to impose Syrian government control over the south, a senior Iranian security official was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Elliott Abrams, who served as a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, told me Friday that Netanyahu has been explaining to Putin " the threat to Israeli security posed by Iran's presence in Syria". The cease-fire means the Syrian rebels have continued to control an area along the Golan and Jordan's border.

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