Syria Says Withdrawal of Iran, Hizbullah 'Not on Agenda'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria's deputy foreign minister said Wednesday Damascus did not envisage Iran and Hizbullah participating in the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country as announced last week by Russia.

Asked whether the removal of Iranian and Hizbullah forces could end Israel's strikes on Syria, Faisal Mekdad told RIA Novosti state news agency that "this topic is not even on the agenda for discussion."

"All these forces oppose terrorism. They are not making an attempt to violate the sovereignty and territory of Syria," he said in comments translated into Russian.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday, with the Russian leader saying "foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory" although he gave few details. 

But Russia's chief Syria negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev later told journalists that the withdrawal of foreign troops should be done "as a whole" and include Iranians and Hizbullah, the powerful Lebanese group that is an ally of Iran and Assad.

"We are talking about all the foreign troop divisions which still have troops in Syrian territory. That includes the Americans and the Turks and Hizbullah, of course, and the Iranians," Lavrentyev said on Friday, quoted by RIA Novosti.

Mekdad, however, suggested Russia had not meant to say this.

"I don't think that our Russian friends meant the forces that entered Syria in agreement with the Syrian government," he said. 

"Russia demanded the withdrawal of forces that are here without agreement: that is the forces of the US, France, Turkey and other forces that are here illegitimately."

Russia and Iran are both allied with Assad. Together with rebel-supporting Turkey, they have been brokering peace talks in Astana, the Kazakh capital, running in parallel to talks supervised by the United Nations.

Last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was acting on the basis that both Hizbullah and the Iranians, "just like the Russian air forces, are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government."

Comments 7
Thumb janoubi 23 May 2018, 16:04

فضيحة بالصور.. جيش الأسد ينهب مخيم اليرموكفضيحة-بالصور-جيش-الأسد-يعفش-مخيم-اليرموك.html

Thumb extraterrestrial.alien 23 May 2018, 16:48

No surprises here, it's a practice the Syrian Army perfected when occupying Lebanon.

Thumb jaafar.ibn.iblees 23 May 2018, 16:28

what kind of dreams do those two dead iranian shia terrorists in your avatar have?

Thumb extraterrestrial.alien 23 May 2018, 16:45

It's a Russian American decision and it looks like the decision has been made. Neither the Syrians nor the Iranians have a say in this. They need to remember this, before they went begging for Putin's succor Assad's northern strongholds were about to fall. In the meantime all they can do is count their dead or start packing. As for Hezbollah, when Iran says jump Nasrallah jumps. He's not even allowed to ask how high.

Thumb justice 23 May 2018, 16:57

Syria Says Withdrawal of Iran, Hizbullah 'Not on Agenda'

what about aoun and hariri's dissociation policy?

Thumb s.o.s 23 May 2018, 18:49

Haha, I’m already laughing because Putin is about to bitxslap the Iranian stooges. In case you missed it, Bashar has a long leash around his neck that goes as far as the Kremlin.

Get used to it. Slava Russia, Slava Putin :)

Thumb scorpyonn 24 May 2018, 06:09

I hope Bolton urges Trump to bomb Iran off the face of this planet.