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Israel threatens to 'act' against Iran 'anywhere in Syria'

Israel threatens to 'act' against Iran 'anywhere in Syria'

Assad said work had begun on negotiations with the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a militia that controls parts of northern and eastern Syria where US forces are stationed.

Assad also said that Russian Federation had averted "direct conflict" with the US in Syria and a far greater attack than the one launched in April by the US, UK and France on alleged Syrian chemical sites, following a chemical weapons attack on civilians attributed to the Syrian government - a charge that Assad denied.

With Syrian government forces now in their strongest position since the early months of the seven-year civil war, the southwest is one of the few parts of the country still in the hands of enemies of President Bashar al-Assad.

Sergei Lavrov stressed on his point that this withdrawal needed to be a two-way street, where the demilitarization would have to be carried out by all non-Syrian forces on a mutual basis. "If not, we're going to resort... to liberating those areas by force", Assad added.

"We have one option, to live with each other as Syrians".

"The Russians do not want the Iranians to become too powerful in post-ISIS Syria", he said, referring to the multinational effort to crush the extremists that captured swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

The disputed area is primarily to the east of the Euphrates River, along the northern border which Syria shares with Turkey.

Tzuriel said that if the opportunity is not seized on and Iran is not pushed back "we are on a collision course with Iran". "People don't accept foreigners in this region anymore".




Responding to Trump's description of him as "Animal Assad", the Syrian leader said: "What you say is what you are".

The southwest is of concern to the United States, which previous year brokered a "de-escalation" deal with Jordan and President Bashar al-Assad's Russian allies, which has largely contained the war near the frontier with Israel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hinted Monday that Iranian forces should be kept far from Israel's frontiers.

Trump blamed Assad for the attack, calling him an "animal" and securing the support of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron to launch strikes on his regime.

The U.S. and Russian Federation, while backing rival sides in Syria's war, have coordinated their maneuvers in Syria and largely avoided direct confrontation.

In addition, Fathollah-Nejad said Israel is anxious about "a permanent Iranian military presence across the Israeli border".

Assad also sought in his interview to minimize the extent to which his government receives support from Iran.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gestures during an interview with a Greek newspaper in Damascus, Syria in this handout released May 10, 2018.

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