Assad says U.S. must leave Syria, vows to recover SDF areas

Russia Demands Only Syrian Military to Remain Stationed On South Western Border

Russia Demands Only Syrian Military to Remain Stationed On South Western Border

In Assad's interview and tweets from the Syrian Presidency, the regime sought to emphasize that the only real "problem" in Syria consists of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria.

The truce - the first US peacekeeping effort in the war under Donald Trump's presidency - has reduced violence in a particularly sensitive region that includes Syrian territory bordering Israel.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity. But large patches of territory remain beyond his control, including the expansive region north of the Euphrates River that is administered by the Syrian Kurds.

"Our air defense is much stronger than before, thanks to the Russian support, and the recent attacks by the Israelis and by the Americans and British and French proved that we are in a better situation", he said. "This is a proof that Israel was in direct link with those terrorists in Syria".

A US-led wave of Western missile strikes on Syrian authorities targets throughout the nation final month raised fears of a Russian response and full-blown internationalisation of the seven-year-old battle.

The mini Israel-Iran summit is separate and apart from the channel of communication that exists between Israel and Russia, Assad's most valuable patron and a country increasingly concerned that Iranian activity in Syria could jeopardize all of Moscow's hard work.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 14 people were killed in the strike, with Iran's semi-official Fars news agency saying that were among the casualties.

"Actually, we had tens of Syrian martyrs and wounded soldiers", he said.

Israel, which is deeply alarmed by Tehran's influence in Syria, said it destroyed dozens of Iranian military sites in Syria in May, after Iranian forces in Syria fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time.

Israel was seen as securing a diplomatic coup when Russian Federation this week called for the hasty exit of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from southwest Syria, close to the Israeli border.

Russian news reports said Moscow wants to cut a deal that would see Russian military police deployed to areas near Israel. The agreement envisages Iranian forces pulling out from the entire area and Syrian rebels there surrendering heavy weapons.

The main topic of conversation was the possible return of Syrian government troops on the border with Israel. Netanyahu has warned that his government would not allow Iran to maintain a permanent military presence anywhere inside Syria.

A senior official who requested anonymity told Reuters the three countries that signed last year's deal to create the zone "saw eye to eye" on the need to preserve it as a key step to "accelerate efforts to reach a political solution" in Syria.

"However, as we have said in the past, if attacked we will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend USA, coalition, or partner forces engaged in operations to defeat ISIS", the official added.

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