Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Assad Threatens Conflict with U.S. Forces if They Don’t Leave Syria

Assad Threatens Conflict with U.S. Forces if They Don’t Leave Syria

Assad said he would recover areas of Syria held by the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and that USA forces should learn the lesson of Iraq and leave the country.

That includes large parts of the north and east where USA special forces deployed during the fight against Islamic State, supporting the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"Within a few hours, we managed to reach an ‎understanding with all the parties operating in the ‎region - mainly Israel and Iran - that the Syrian ‎and Jordanian armies would be the only two forces ‎to deploy on both sides of the border between Syria and ‎Jordan", he said.

Russian Federation said on Monday 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.

Moscow has moved closer to defining its moves in the southern Syrian region as a tripartite Russian-US-Jordanian meeting is scheduled to be held soon to draft a new deal in the region.

"They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them", Assad said of USA forces.

The US General said he was pleased with the progress against ISIS and the job that the SDF is doing on east of Euphrates river. Even Israel and Iran, the definition of mortal enemies, were reportedly communicating with one another last weekend.

Rebels hold stretches of that area and intensive Israeli airstrikes in Syria this month were prompted by what Israel said was Iranian rocket fire from the area into the Golan Heights. "We never had, and you can not hide it", the Syrian president said.

Officials do not believe that direct conflict between Israel, Iran and Syria will necessarily draw Lebanese militant group Hezbollah into the conflict.

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Assad said he would attempt negotiations first with the SDF, "because the majority of them are Syrians, supposedly like their country, they don't like to be puppets to any foreigners".

After President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, USA and Israel apparently see a need to adapt the December agreement to the new reality. "It represents him", Assad said.

"Fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership", he added.

Answering questions of journalists, the Russian Minister reminded that in July 2017, three States - Russia, the U.S. and Jordan agreed to establish on the southern border area of Syria de-escalation.

Speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, director of Joint Staff General Kenneth McKenzie gave no indication of USA plans to leave Syria, and cautioned against attacking the SDF.

Israel has claimed that it is targeting military infrastructure run by its archfoe Iran, which has been Damascus's other key ally in the conflict.

Tensions between the USA and Syria have ratcheted up during the Trump administration over its response to the country's seven-year civil war.

The deal is said to have been finalised in a phone call days earlier between Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

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