Assad threatens to expel United States troops from Syria by 'force'

A Russian air force technician reports to a pilot that a Su-34 bomber is ready for a combat mission at Hemeimeem airbase in Syria

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In the interview with RT, the Russian state's worldwide broadcaster, Assad raised the prospect of conflict with USA forces if they do not leave Syria.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has said a threat by President Bashar al-Assad to use force to recover the swathe of northern and eastern Syria controlled by the group would not yield any results.

In the interview with Russia Today, the controversial Syrian leader said USA officials have "lost its cards" and should learn the same lesson Iraq did.

If the Americans do not withdraw from positions they now hold in Syria, or if the United States conducts more punitive airstrikes against the Damascus regime, Assad predicted there would be "direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces". Apparently referring to the May 10 attack by Israel, Assad said: "We had tens of Syrian martyrs and wounded soldiers, not a single Iranian casualty".

"They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them".

"We're going to deal with it by two options", he said.

His office told Hadashot news, "Israel is not interested in partial agreements, but the removal of the Iranian army from all of Syria".

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.

They said that in return, Russian police will make sure cease fire is maintained and will manage the area. Israel has always been concerned about the Iranian buildup in Syria.

Arch enemies Israel and Iran have set up a secret back-channel to reduce the chances of war over Syrian army operations near the Golan Heights, according to Saudi reports.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed Wednesday on the necessity of the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces from Syria's de-escalation zone south Syria as soon as possible.

Earlier in May, U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 global nuclear accord under which world powers lifted some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its disputed atomic energy program. "We need the Russian support, but we need at the same time to avoid the American foolishness in order to be able to stabilize our country". "People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore", Assad added.

After the advance of the Syrian army, as well as the unreliable nature of opposition forces, the US administration has started losing its "cards" and could be brought to the negotiation table, Assad believes. Syrian air-defense systems reportedly attempted to intercept the missiles.

The province had been the subject of a race between the Russian-backed Assad government forces and the SDF, each trying to outpace its rival.

But Assad denied that Tehran had any active troops in Syria: "The most important fact regarding this issue, is that we don't have Iranian troops".

Fighting erupted at the end of April between government forces and SDF fighters in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor province, formerly held by the Islamic State (IS) group, driven out of the overwhelming majority of the region under the blow of multiple offensives.

Also Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Moscow for talks focusing on Syria.

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