World News

Iran's presence in Syria at Damascus' demand: Tehran

Iran's presence in Syria at Damascus' demand: Tehran

"Syria has its own sovereignty".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 17 after a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad: "We presume that, in connection with the significant victories and success of the Syrian Army in the fight against terrorism, with the onset of a more active part, with the onset of the political process in its more active phase, foreign armed forces will be withdrawn from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic".

The Sky News Arabia outlet reported that the explosions were caused by an attack on an advanced Iranian air defense system.

However former Sunday Times journalist Hala Jaber countered that Putin did not refer to Iran or other Syrian allied forces: "Iran's presence is not viewed in the same league as that of the USA and as such is not negotiable nor will be used by Syria as an exchange commodity..."

In an army statement broadcast on Syrian TV Monday, Gen. Ali Mayhoub says the army captured the former IS strongholds in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp and Hajar al-Aswad after a monthlong campaign.

More news: Texas School Shooting Suspect Has Reportedly Confessed

Syria's military says it has retaken the last neighborhoods in southern Damascus held by the Islamic State group and is declaring the capital and its surroundings "completely safe" and free of any militant presence.

Damascus has also responded to the airstrikes and considers the Israeli airstrikes as an aggression.

Samer al-Khalil, for his part, underlined the vitality of expanding all-out ties between Iran and Syria, hailing Iranian government's tendency for development of bilateral economic, trade, financial and banking ties.

Israel has stepped up its attacks on Syrian military positions in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy losses and retreating on multiple fronts, most recently from their strongholds in Damascus suburbs. He and his counterpart hailed the beginning of the "political process" in Syria amid an ongoing "fight against terrorism". Israel has reportedly carried out repeated air strikes against them, hoping to stop the formation of a Lebanese-Syrian front to its north and the transfer of arms to Hezbollah. The first was the April 13th US-led coalition attack involving over one hundred missiles on sites in and around Damascus; and the second was the May 10 Israeli attack on dozens of targets inside Syria in what was the biggest military escalation between the two countries in decades.