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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Defense minister: Foreign military presence in Syria amounts to 'occupation'

Iran Press TV

Mon Mar 18, 2019 04:22PM

The Syrian Ministry of Defense has denounced as an "act of occupation" the presence of foreign forces in the country without authorization from the government in Damascus, stressing that Syria reserves the right to defend its security and sovereignty against any act of aggression.

Speaking at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, Syrian Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said the unauthorized military presence of any country in Syria was regarded as "illegal" and that the Syrian armed forces would not relent in their determination to defend the country's territorial integrity.

General Ayyoub also added that areas held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be brought back under government control through military force or some kind of "reconciliation agreements."

"The only card remaining in the hands of the Americans and their allies is the SDF, and it will be dealt with through the two methods used by the Syrian state: national reconciliation or the liberation of the areas that they control through force," the Syrian defense minister said.

"The Americans must leave and will leave," he added.

The US has long been providing the SDF -- a predominantly Kurdish alliance of militants -- with arms, calling it a key partner in the purported fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

The Daesh terror group lost its territorial control in Syria in late 2017 thanks to national army operations backed by Iran and Russia.

Despite the terror group's collapse, the US and a coalition of allies, which invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh, have refused to end their aerial operations in defiance of the Damascus government.

The US has deployed some 2,000 troops to Syria and runs military bases there.

Many reports have emerged over the past months, indicating that Washington lets the terrorists enjoy freedom of movement near its military base, and even trains them there.

In December last year, US President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced that the US would be pulling all its 2,000 forces out of Syria. He also claimed victory over Daesh in the country.

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