Iranian FM Urges US Immediate Pullout from Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that the US withdrawal from Syria will lead to stability and security in West Asia, and further described Israel as the main source of instability and insecurity in the region.
Amir Abdollahian made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad following their meeting in Tehran on Monday.
The Iranian minister highlighted Iran’s constant efforts to achieve “peace, stability and lasting security” in West Asia, and strongly condemned Israel’s repeated attacks on the Syrian territory.
“The Zionist regime is the main source of instability and insecurity in the region, and finds its supposed survival in [advancing] warmongering in the region,” the top diplomat said.
“The fake rulers of the Zionist regime have realized that no action of the Zionists would go unanswered,” he continued, adding, “The region has not been and will not be indifferent to the moves of the Zionist regime.”
Amir Abdollahian underscored the necessity of continuing the Astana talks on the Syrian conflict and said there is consensus among all parties that the format will continue to operate in subsequent meetings at the level of foreign ministers and presidents.
The senior official stated that the framework of the quadrilateral meetings between Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran as part of the political process to end the Syria conflict was the "most suitable diplomatic path" for the establishment of security on the common borders of Syria and Turkey.
“Iran firmly backs the right of the Syrian people to support the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the minister continued, adding, “We believe that the military presence of foreign countries in Syria will not contribute to stability and security in the country and the region.”
Stressing that Iran fully understands Turkey's concerns about the security of its common borders with Syria, Amir Abdollahian stated, "We, however, believe that military presence in Syria is not the solution.”
The Iranian foreign minister underlined that the immediate withdrawal of the American occupation forces from Syrian territory would be a great contribution to the stability and security of the region.
“The occupying American forces brought about nothing to the region but intensified insecurity in Syria and support for terrorists in [Syria's Northwestern province of] Idlib,” he added.
The minister also stressed the need for the immediate and safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
Mekdad, for his part, expressed satisfaction with his visit to Tehran and said the two countries are taking practical steps to further expand their bilateral ties in all fields.
The minister censured certain countries in the region for disrupting relations between the states and stated Syria “resolutely” stands by the Palestinian people.
He praised the Palestinian nation as “noble” and added, “We condemn the Zionist regime for the crimes it commits, they have martyred around 300 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.”
Stressing that the ongoing developments in Israel are the result of the deep crises the illegal entity is facing, the senior diplomat stated, “The Zionist regime commits various crimes in Palestine, and the countries that support it are also an accomplice in the crimes of that regime.”
Mekdad also noted Damascus supports all efforts for the unification between the Arab and Muslim countries, and praised Iran's active diplomacy in that regard.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Syrian foreign minister pointed to the US crimes in the region and said, “War crimes of the United States will definitely end because the Syrian people will not allow this process to continue.”
Stressing that the US presence in Northeastern Syria is “illegal,” he added, “Syria calls for the withdrawal of American forces and the [so-called] international coalition.”
The Syrian official also called on the Arab countries to stop their support for terrorism.
Asked about the rise in the number of American troops in the region, Mekdad underscored, “The goal of the United States in increasing its forces in Syria is to continue the aggression and looting of Syria, and it is not surprising that the United States supports terrorism.”
Underlining that the US relocates terrorists in the region to achieve its goals, the foreign minister stated the same situation is true in Northern Syria, where the goal is to prevent the resolution of conflicts and to weaken the Syrian government.
“The Syrian government and nation want the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights and taking control of Syria's resources,” he added.
Mekdad also censured hostile measures by certain Western governments to support the US crimes in Syria and the region.
“Almost 300,000 terrorists entered the Syrian territory [since the outbreak of the Syria crisis] but we managed to emerge victorious [in the war] thanks to the resistance front and the brave Syrian army and the faith of the Syrian people,” he said.
The minister noted that the United States’ direct aggression against Syria killed more than 250 Syrian citizens since 2014 when the US-led coalition got involved in the Syria conflict.
Stressing the need for the withdrawal of foreign occupation forces from Syria, Mekdad said, “A number of countries allied with the evil powers … followed the approach of Daesh.”
“The forces that entered Syria’s territory will face the resistance of the Syrian people … There is no difference between Daesh, the US and the Zionist regime. We will not forget the crimes against Syria,” he continued.
The top diplomat also offered his gratitude to Iran’s leadership, government and nation for their aid to Syria in tough times.
Since 2011, Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy, as a result of which Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other terror groups emerged in the country.
US forces were first sent to Syria in 2014, beginning with a contingent of special operators followed by more conventional ground troops the next year, most embedded with Kurdish fighters in the country’s oil-rich Northeast. Though then-President Barack Obama maintained the deployment was focused only on combating the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) terrorists, Washington had long intervened in Syria’s war against terror groups, sending and overseeing countless arms shipments to militants seeking to overthrow the government in Damascus.
Though American involvement in the conflict slowed under the next administration, in 2019 President Donald Trump noted some US troops would remain in Syria “for the oil”, openly suggesting Washington would simply “keep” the energy resources.
Subsequent reporting in 2020 would later reveal that the Trump administration had approved a deal between a US energy firm and Kurdish authorities controlling Northeast Syria to “develop and export the region’s crude oil” – a contract immediately condemned as “illegal” by Damascus. However, while that particular deal would later fall through after President Joe Biden took office, Syrian authorities have continued to accuse Washington of plundering its resources and some 900 US troops remain in the country illegally.
Syria, Iran, Russia and China have repeatedly called on Washington to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country, calling on foreign occupation forces and their mercenaries to leave the war-ravaged country.
Also, Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian Army in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists.
The Tel Aviv regime rarely comments on its cowardly attacks on Syrian territories, which many see as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s success in confronting and decimating terrorism.
Israel has been one of the main supporters of terrorist groups that oppose the democratically-elected government of President Bashar Al-Assad since the foreign-backed militancy erupted in Syria.
Iran maintains an advisory mission in Syria at the request of Damascus with the aim of helping the war-ravaged country get rid of the foreign-backed militants who have been fighting against the democratically-elected Syrian government since 2011. Several members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have so far martyred in battle against terrorists in the war-torn Syria.