Syria FM links talks on south to USA withdrawal from border area

Syria FM links talks on south to USA withdrawal from border area

"Do not believe any statements on an agreement about the south of Syria unless the U.S. forces withdraw from al-Tanf area", he said.

"We will continue to act against [Tehran's] intention to establish a military presence in Syria across from us, not just across from the Golan Heights but anywhere in Syria", he said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported on Thursday that Iranian troops and members of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group are getting ready to withdraw from southern Syria.

"The U.S. presence in Syria is illegitimate and they should withdraw from al-Tanf and any other area in Syria", he noted.

"There are Iranian advisers in Syria some of whom were martyred while working with the Syrian Arab army and their presence is part of an agreement and in co-ordination with the armed forces on where they should be", al-Moallem said.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria without a United Nations mandate or authorization from the legitimate government, which Damascus views as a violation of the country's sovereignty.

On top of the direct move to get Iran off the border, Russian Federation is also promising to issue a statement criticizing Iran for fueling tensions with Israel, and will push Syria not to too closely back Iran in this ongoing rivalry.

On Saturday, Iran said it supports the Russian initiative aimed at imposing Syrian government control over the southern part of the country.

Located on Syria's border with Jordan, Al-Tanf was captured previous year by the United States, which declared it under its protection and attacked pro-government forces showing up there.

Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, has reiterated that Iranian military personnel in Syria are "military advisers" and they are not in southern Syria, the Sharq newspaper quoted him as saying on June 2.

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.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Assad that foreign military forces will exit Syria at the onset of a political process to end the war.

The agreement appears to be slated to demand that Iranian and Iran-backed forces stay 20 kilometers from the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

The southwest, near the borders with Jordan and Israel, remains one of the big chunks of Syria still outside the control of the state, which has recovered swathes of the country with the help of Russian jets and Iran-backed militias.

The situation in southern Syria has grabbed attention recently as the Syrian army is preparing for a wide-scale offensive to dislodge rebels from the southern provinces of Qunaitera and Daraa amid talks of a reconciliation agreement.

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