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Iranian Presence in Syria “Legitimate”

Iranian Presence in Syria “Legitimate”Iranian Presence in Syria “Legitimate”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that a recently announced agreement on the terms of a ceasefire in Syria did not include a commitment to ensure Iran-linked forces would be pulled out of the country.

Lavrov said Iran maintained a “legitimate” presence in Syria, Interfax reported as cited by the Times of Israel.

It was not clear if Lavrov’s comments related to reports that the deal would place restrictions on how close to the Israeli-Syrian border Iran-backed groups would be allowed to remain.

The statement came as officials from the US National Security Council flew into Israel for talks with security heads, primarily over the US-Russia agreement regarding Syria and Iran’s growing clout in the region.

The agreement, announced in a joint US-Russian statement on Saturday, affirms a call for “the reduction and ultimate elimination” of foreign fighters from southern Syria.

Earlier reports claimed the deal applies to Iranian-backed forces fighting on behalf of the Syrian government, which would be required to leave the border area and eventually Syria.

 

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