Syria's Assad threatens to attack area under US-backed Kurds

Russia and Israel 'reach a deal' with Assad on Syrian territory

According to information posted on its website, the observatory said there were "preparations by the Iranian forces and forces of the Lebanese Hezbollah and militias operating under the command of the Iranian forces to withdraw from both [southern] provinces [Daraa and Quneitra] and from the lines near the border with the occupied Syrian Golan".

Kurdish forces, which are supported by the U.S., now control around a third of the country. having taken huge swathes of territory from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Assad, who is backed by Russian Federation and Iran, appears militarily unassailable in the war that has killed an estimated half a million people, uprooted around six million people in the country, and driven another five million overseas as refugees.

Assad declined to say how much longer the war will continue, but he reiterated that he intends to bring all parts of the country back under his authority.

The withdrawal of all non-Syrian troops from Syria's southwestern de-escalation zone should take place as soon as possible, Lavrov said.

As for US President Donald Trump calling him "an animal", Assad said: "This is not my language, so I can not use similar language".

Assad said Iran's presence in Syria was limited to officers who were assisting the Syrian army.

"We don't have any other options", Assad insisted. They have to learn their lesson.

At present, all USA troops in Syria are within territory held by the Kurdish YPG. "Somehow, they are going to leave". He noted that United States troops are in the country with no legal basis, and pointed out the consequences of the USA having similarly entered Iraq with no legal basis.




"This is the first option".

"We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces", he said. Iraq is no exception, and Syria is no exception.

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on April 30 the United States and its allies would not want to pull troops out of Syria before diplomats win the peace.

A US -led wave of Western missile strikes on Syrian government targets across the country last month raised fears of a Russian response and full-blown internationalization of the conflict.

"This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with German and French leaders next week to present his case against Iran's continued presence in Syria and ask for pressure to be put on Tehran.

Israel, which is also said to have received assurances from Moscow that it would not try to stop any future strikes on Iranian targets, is concerned about Iran and allied Hezbollah's growing arsenal on its doorstep.

He said that Syria's air defences were now much stronger than before thanks to Russian Federation.

"The role of Iran is getting bigger and bigger, at the expense of our people", Hariri said.

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