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Iran to support Russian efforts to bring south Syria under army control

04 June 2018

Mr Assad said he is committed to pushing USA forces out of Syria during an explosive interview with Russian broadcaster RT. Russian Federation says "foreign forces" will leave.

The current situation in southern Syria is a result of the cease-fire signed in July 2017 between Russian Federation, the USA and Jordan.

The attack triggered US, French and British missile strikes against what they called chemical weapons targets, the first coordinated Western strikes against Mr Assad's government of the war.

This month, government forces pushed all rebels out of the Syrian capital of Damascus, marking a major turning point in the war.

"We have one option: to live with each other as Syrians". "We will liberate every inch of our land", he added. "They have to learn the lesson".

"People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore", he said.

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

"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. "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agreements] stipulate that this de-escalation zone should consolidate stability, while all non-Syrian forces must be withdrawn from this area", Lavrov said.

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The SDF, dominated by the militia of a self-proclaimed Kurdish autonomous administration, has air support from the US-led coalition against IS and backing from United States and French special forces on the ground.

"Contrary to the unlawful presence of the USA and some regional countries in Syria, Iran's presence is not imposed and is not the result of an illegal military aggression", he told the Shargh newspaper, according to state-run Press TV.

Syria's air defences were much stronger than before, thanks to Russian Federation, he added.

"We are the most careful to return the displaced people to their homes and we will provide all facilitations to those who want to return", al-Moallem added.

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

After regaining control of Syria's two largest cities - Aleppo and Damascus - Assad this spring set his sights on areas in the country that remain outside his control and in rebel hands.

Both President Obama and Trump have argued the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria is legal under the congressional authorisations to use military force against Al-Qaeda dating back to 2001.

Mr Assad said the government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" with the SDF, whose main component, the Kurdish YPG, has mostly avoided conflict with Damascus in the war.

Iran to support Russian efforts to bring south Syria under army control