Jordan says U.S., Russian Federation agree 'essential' to preserve southern Syria truce

Hugh Fox
June 2, 2018

The Al-Baath daily said in an editorial published Monday that the USA threat underscores the "dirty American role in the terrorist war" against Syria.

On Monday, Russia's top diplomat said that only Syrian Army troops should be positioned along Syria's border with Israel, Reuters reported, citing the Russian RIA news agency. "The Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave", he continued.

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President Assad wants to expel American forces and their Kurdish-led allies from Syria if they do not withdraw voluntarily after a period of negotiation.

Around 2,000 USA special forces troops are believed to be on the ground in Syria, where they have aided a group called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is led by the YPG, a Kurdish militia.

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"This is the first option". Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicated as much during a joint press conference yesterday with Mozambican Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco during which he said that only Syrian troops should be on Syria's southern border according to the de-escalation zone agreement with the United States and Jordan.

"A very powerful truth concerning this situation, is that we do not have Iranian troops", he informed RT. However, numerous USA officials to, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, objected to the idea.

Russian ally Assad initially embraced President Donald Trump's election, but USA allegations that the Syrian leader was behind toxic gas attacks and subsequent US airstrikes have split the two.

"Less than a month after Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired 32 rockets toward Israel's northern Golan Heights, the Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad along with Hamas fired some 180 Iranian-made 120-mm. mortar shells and 107-mm. rockets toward communities in southern Israel", the Post wrote.

The SDF, which Assad dubbed the "only problem left in Syria", would be confronted with force if negotiations fail, the president said.

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After recovering swaths of territory, Assad now controls the biggest part of Syria. Yet, the regime forces still tracts at the borders with Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, three of the five neighborhood countries, which remain outside of his authority.

More strikes by USA ally Israel have further raised fears that the devastating seven-year war could still escalate. The area is a known stronghold for Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias.

Asked if there was anything Syria could do to stop Israeli air strikes, he said the only option was to improve air defenses, "and we are doing that".

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to hit Iran anywhere in Syria.

Repeated reports over the past five years, which have also been confirmed by Iranian media, claimed Iranian officers, including high-ranking officials, have been killed on various fronts of the Syrian war.

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