Direct US-Russia clash in Syria was narrowly avoided, Assad says

Assad also said the government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" with the SDF, a Kurdish dominated militia alliance that controls parts of northern and eastern Syria where US forces are stationed.

The Russian and Israeli defense ministers met in Moscow on Thursday, while Russia is providing indirect support for Israel in efforts to remove Iranian troops from southern Syria, near the Israeli border.

The government had started now opening doors for negotiations with the SDF, who control northern and eastern areas of Syria where USA forces are deployed.

According to information posted on its website, the observatory said there were "preparations by the Iranian forces and forces of the Lebanese Hezbollah and militias operating under the command of the Iranian forces to withdraw from both [southern] provinces [Daraa and Quneitra] and from the lines near the border with the occupied Syrian Golan".

"This is the first option".

At the moment, the control of the border area close to Jordan and Israel is shared between Syrian government forces and different militant groups.

"We're going to deal with it by two options", he said.

"It represents him", Assad said.

Israeli officials view a U.S. withdrawal with trepidation, as they consider the American presence there to be a buffer, preventing Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria from joining hands.

Speaking in Brussels, Nasr Hariri, the head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission in the Geneva peace talks format, urged the West to find ways to limit Iranian influence in Syria. They have to learn their lesson.

"We always said that we have Iranian officers, but they work with our army, we don't have [Iranian] troops".

Turkey also says the USA should drop its support to the SDF, which is mainly established by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to Ankara. Iraq is no exception, and Syria is no exception.

Months after an alleged chemical attack by government forces prompted US President Donald Trump to call the Syrian president "Animal Assad" in a tweet, Assad said he had no nickname for Trump.

Russian broadcaster RT asked Assad if he also had a nickname for Trump, to which the Syrian president answered: "This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

The strike came one week after the Western states blamed the Syrian government for a suspected gas attack in the town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta region.

According to Israeli sources, Russian Federation has grown increasingly frustrated with Iran's presence in Syria and is anxious that fighting between Israel and Iran threatens its hard-fought victories.

"As regards the confrontation between "Israel" and Iran in Syria, we have agreements on the southwestern de-escalation zone, these agreements have been reached between Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan".

Elsewhere, Assad was asked about the possibility of an assault by the United States and its allies on Syria similar to the tripartite missile attack last month. Syria's air defenses were much stronger than before, thanks to Russian Federation, he added.

  • Rogelio Becker