Assad raises prospect of clashes with U.S. forces in Syria


Assad said in an interview with Russia Today television which aired on Thursday that the USA troops, who operate air bases and outposts in the Kurdish-administered region, will have to leave country.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has branded President Donald Trump an "animal", saying US forces should learn the lesson of Iraq and leave the country.

In the past United States air force has targeted Mr Assad or allied proxies, to defend its SDF partners and secure the deconfliction zone in key areas over Syria.

Damascus is "open to talks", al-Assad added, going on to say that most SDF members were Syrians "who love Syria and don't want to be used as pawns by outsiders".

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov seemed to begin the process of pushing Iran and Hezbollah back, saying only the Syrian army should be present on Syria's border with Israel, according to a Times of Israel report.

"They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them. It is impossible for us to leave any area outside of government control", he said. There has been no confirmation of such a deal, however, from Russia, Israel or Iran.

The U.S. -backed group holds the largest area of Syrian territory outside government control, but has tried to avoid direct clashes with the government during the multi-sided war. "We never had, and you can not hide it", Assad insisted.

On the other hand, however, Russia's support for Iran's role in ending the civil war in Syria has always been a point of concern for Liberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. "As a result of the vast majority of them are Syrians, supposedly they like their nation, they do not wish to be puppets to any foreigners", Assad mentioned in English.

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Prince Charles greets Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at St. James Palace in London.

Elsewhere, Assad was asked about the possibility of an assault by the USA and its allies on Syria similar to the tripartite missile attack last month.

Syria's president is demanding the USA and its western allies to pull their troops out of the war-torn country.

The collapse of that deal would see leave them vulnerable to a Syrian army offensive. Still, Assad has made this a long-term priority for his government, and that greatly complicates the Pentagon's plans to stay.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White later clarified the USA did not want to get involved in Syria's civil war, and would offer protection only in areas where the SDF are fighting the Islamic State group.

Assad also sought in his interview to minimize the extent to which his government receives support from Iran.

In recent months Israel has carried out several air strikes in Syria, targeting Iranian and Iranian-linked targets.