Russian Foreign Minister: Moscow never promised to withdraw Iranian troops in Syria

GPO  Channel 2 News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has made it clear to the USA and Russian Federation that Israel will continue with its operations in Syria.

If we speak of pro-Iranian forces, probably, someone would like to call nearly the whole Syria pro-Iranian.

"If you look at who is the greatest danger, it's just the wards of the United States, various foreign terrorists, militants who are attached to those groups of armed opposition that the U.S. supports", Lavrov said.

Pressed by a reporter as to how exactly the Russians would convince the Iranians to withdraw from Syria entirely, the official described the memorandum as having "kind of extended that (earlier) progress to really turn the area into a de-escalation area", before reiterating that United States policy remains committed to a Syria "free of Iran, free of Hezbollah, free of all these militias that the Iranians have imported".

As an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow finds itself part of an alliance between Damascus and Tehran, the patron of Hezbollah.

Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of the Syrian war, but officials have acknowledged carrying out dozens of airstrikes on suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

As the Russian-Iranian strategic partnership has deepened over the a year ago, Lavrov has sought to play down the potential for a wider regional war arising from Tehran's role in Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had intensively lobbied in Moscow and Washington for the agreement to create a 37-50 mile secure buffer zone between Israel and Syria.

"I have made it clear to our friends, firstly in Washington and then also in Moscow, that Israel will take actions in Syria, including in southern Syria, according to our understanding and our security needs", he said. However, according to Israeli media, the new ceasefire will allow such fighters to entrench themselves in areas located only five kilometers from Israel's frontier.

Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Eisenkot reportedly flew to Brussels in secret on Thursday to meet with Gen. Curtiss Scaparrotti, head of the USA army's European Command, and discuss Iranian moves in Syria.

According to the minister, Russian Federation and the United States discussed in detail only mechanisms of functioning of the de-escalation area in south-western Syria.

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