Assad threatens to expel U.S. troops from Syria by 'force'

The sun sets over the Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli side of the border

Both the SDF and Russian-backed Syrian troops are engaged in separate operations against ISIL in east Syria, creating a highly volatile situation, where de-confliction mechanisms have already been tested several times. According to USA military and Iraqi officials, the Syrian government helped fuel the insurgency by aiding the passage of hundreds of foreign fighters across the Syrian border.

'They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them. Iraq is no exception, and Syria is no exception.

The United States was counting on a total confrontation with Iran by leaving the nuclear deal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said speaking at the Primakov Readings.

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.

"Fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership", he added.

Israel is satisfied with Russia's position on Iran's military presence in Syria, Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren said in an interview with TASS.

He also claimed the government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish dominated militia alliance that controls parts of northern and eastern Syria where USA forces are stationed.

Earlier in the day, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian media that Washington had "lost its cards" in Syria and called on the Americans to leave. On Thursday, President Assad noted that while dozens of Syrian troops died in that attack, there was "not a single Iranian casualty".

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has responded to President Donald Trump's branding him an "animal" over the Syrian leader's alleged involvement in a toxic gas attack last month, but said he would not retaliate with insults.

While Assad is militarily unassailable in the Syrian conflict, swathes of territory at the frontiers with Iraq, Turkey and Jordan and Israel remain outside his control. Iran-backed Shi'ite militias, often spearheaded by Lebanon's Hezbollah, have played a critical role fighting in support of Assad.

"I think there is a very known principle, that what you say is what you are".

Hariri's remarks come amid intense Israeli diplomatic and military efforts against what Tel Aviv claims is a growing Iranian military presence in Syria, including a campaign of air strikes against suspected Iranian bases.

According to the report, the withdrawal of Iran's armed forces to beyond the Damascus-Sweida road is an interim demand on the way to eventually getting all of Tehran's forces out of the country.

"We have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian army as help, but they do not have troops", he said.

His European tour follows the United States withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal which the European signatories, France, Germany and Britain, have said they will stick to.

"Our air-defenses is much stronger than before" and the military is working to further strengthen those defenses, Assad said.

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