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No withdrawal of Iranian or Hezbollah forces – Syria

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A withdrawal of Iranian or Lebanese Hezbollah forces from Syria is not up for debate, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Meqdad, said on Wednesday.

Iranian troops and the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, fight in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Syrian Government.

Israel has long criticised the presence of rival Iranian forces in Syria, which borders Israel.

The U.S., Israel’s ally, has called for the removal of Iranian troops from Syria and an end to support for Hezbollah.

“A withdrawal of such forces could jeopardise Syria’s sovereignty. We cannot let anyone even raise this issue,’’ al-Meqdad told newsmen.

The Kremlin’s spokesman said in comments carried by state media that even Russian President, Vladimir Putin, expressed hope in a meeting recently with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

He added that foreign armed forces would be withdrawn from Syria because of the Syrian state’s achievements in the fight against terrorism.

According to al-Meqdad, such a withdrawal of troops would not pertain to those invited by the Syrian government for support.