Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

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

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

Lavrov echoed comments he made earlier in the week when he said that only Syrian troops should be stationed in rebel-held Daraa province, a region adjacent to the Israeli border that has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between the Jewish state and Iran. Al-Moallem says Israel is making false claims to try and pressure Iran, its archrival.

In May, Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes in response to what it said was an Iranian rocket attack on its positions in the occupied Golan Heights.

Jazayeri, who is an adviser to Iranian chief of staff, told Tasnim that the biggest fear of the "Zionist regime of Israel" was having Muslim fighters in the region, and that Israel and the USA were desperate to change the situation.

Iran says ISIS was created under a plot by Israel, the USA and their allies to disintegrate West Asian countries and protect the Israeli regime.

"Since the beginning of the crisis, Iran has supported Syria in the war against terrorism backed and financed regionally and internationally", he said.

American military advisers and their counterparts in the Syrian Democratic Forces - a coalition of Arab and Kurdish militias battling the Islamic State - have operated from the Syrian city of Deir-ez-Zour and the surrounding Euphrates River Valley for most of the war against the terror group.

The British based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which looks over developments in the war, said Iranian advisers and allied Hezbollah fighters are preparing to leave the area.

There has been no confirmation of a deal between Russia, Israel and Iran however.

"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.

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"As I understand it, an agreement was reached", Nebenzya told reporters at the UN.

On Friday, Russia's ambassador to the U.N. Vasily Nebenzia said he heard from the news that an agreement was reached on "certain disengagement in the southwest of Syria and, I think, my understanding is that an agreement has been reached".

Since US President Donald Trump took office in 2017, Jerusalem has also expected Washington to shift its policy on Iranian involvement in Syria from one of tolerating Iran's role there to confronting it.

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

Mr McKenzie said the United States troops and their local militia allies were staying in At-Tanf, dismissing Assad's call for their withdrawal.

Over 2,000 U.S. 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.

Iran's security chief, General Ali Shamkhani, says his country "has no military presence whatsoever in southern Syria".

"We strongly support Russian efforts to drive terrorists out of the Syria-Jordan border and to bring the area under Syrian army control", he added. Muallem also touched on the Iranian advisory mission in Syria, saying Tehran has no military bases in his country.

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