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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President Bashar Assad: No Iranian troops in Syria

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, October 8, IRNA -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad emphasized on Thursday that "no Iranian troops are in Syria".

According to IRNA, al-Assad emphasized in an interview with Sputnik news agency that, "we don't have Iranian troops and that is very clear".

As emphasized by the Syrian president, Iran's assistance to Damascus is limited to sending military experts who work with the Syrian troops on the ground, but do not engage in the fighting.

As a case in point, he spoke about how the US had asked the Russian authorities last year to "convince the Iranians that they should be 80 kilometers [50 miles] away from the border with the Golan Heights", an Israeli-controlled former Syrian territory, in exchange for the de-occupation of the Al-Tanf area on the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the Syrian president, Iran easily agreed — since there were no Iranian troops there anyway — but the US troops never withdrew from the area in question.

"The Iranian issue is a pretext for occupying Syrian land and supporting terrorists," Assad stressed.

The United States is using the allegation that Iranian troops are present in Syria as a pretext to continue its own illegal military presence and support for terrorists, he added.

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