Assad raises prospect of clashes with US forces in Syria

Charlene Craig
June 2, 2018

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.

"This is the first option".

"We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces, and fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership", he said.

Rajas said IS and other insurgents dug up the past years' graves in search of the remains.

In an exclusive interview shared in part Wednesday by Russian government-run news channel RT, Assad said he was unmoved by Trump's words, which were followed by US -led airstrikes against Syrian government sites suspected of being involved in the production of chemical weapons. Somehow, they're going to leave.

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A second batch of American exports worth around €3.7 billion ($4.3 billion) a year could eventually be targeted. Washington angered its major allies by slapping duties of 25% and 10% on imports of aluminium and steel .

"They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them". This is an area formerly controlled by ISIS and there are Arab tribes there that the USA hopes the Saudis can work with so they don't turn back to the regime.

Second, whether or not Iran continues to adhere to the terms of the nuclear deal, the American withdrawal from it would motivate Iran to further destabilize the region, support extremist groups, and accelerate its ballistic missiles program.

Sixth, since the advent of the Obama administration and now under Trump, the USA by its own inconsequential involvement has sent a clear signal that it has no geostrategic or security interest to be deeply involved in Syria's civil war.

A USA -led wave of Western missile strikes on Syrian government targets across the country last month raised fears of a Russian response and full-blown internationalization of the conflict.

"This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

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Assad said a confrontation between Russian Federation and USA forces over Syria had also been narrowly avoided.

Assad has recovered swathes of Syrian territory with military backing from Russian Federation and Iran and is now militarily unassailable in the conflict that began in 2011.

"Within a few hours, we managed to reach an ‎understanding with all the parties operating in the ‎region - mainly Israel and Iran - that the Syrian ‎and Jordanian armies would be the only two forces ‎to deploy on both sides of the border between Syria and ‎Jordan", he said.

Forces loyal to Assad and the Syrian Kurds have clashed sporadically over the eastern oil province of Deir el-Zour. "Also in the recent attack, a few weeks ago, they said they attacked Iranian bases and camps there were dozens of Syrian martyrs and wounded soldiers but no Iranian", the president added.

The Syrian government's plans to recapture rebel-held parts of the region have raised Israeli concerns that its backers - Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - could take up positions along the frontier.

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The Israeli military last February accused Iranian-backed militias of operating at the base, from where it said an Iranian drone that was shot down over northern Israel had been launched. "The only option is to improve our air defense, this is the only thing we can do, and we are doing that".

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