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Walid al-Moallem's comments came amid rising tension in the region as Israel has repeatedly warned against any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria. Damascus has not engaged in talks about the south, and any agreement over that region must include the pullout of US forces, he said.

"Since the beginning of the crisis, Iran has supported Syria in the war against terrorism backed and financed regionally and internationally", he said.

"Now, with the defeat of Takfiri terrorists in Syria and Iraq, which Israel sees the result of Iran's role, those golden days have ended and once again Palestine has turned into the first issue in the Muslim world", he said.

On Friday, the newspaper reported Israel and Russian Federation had reached an agreement green-lighting Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, as well as the withdrawal of Tehran-backed troops from Syria's border with Israel.

Mr McKenzie said the USA troops and their local militia allies were staying in At-Tanf, dismissing Assad's call for their withdrawal.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria without a United Nations mandate or authorization from the legitimate government, which Damascus views as a violation of the country's sovereignty.

Other senior officials from Iran and Syria claimed Saturday that there was no Iranian military presence in the country.

A Russian source told Asharq al-Awsat that Russia was tight-lipped about the agreement to maintain "balance" in its diplomatic ties with Israel and Iran.

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Mr Assad said he is committed to pushing USA forces out of Syria during an explosive interview with Russian broadcaster RT.

Rebels control stretches of southwest Syria, bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, while Syrian army troops and allied Iran-backed militias hold nearby territory.

There has been no confirmation of a deal between Russia, Israel and Iran however.

Over 2,000 United States troops in Syria are embedded with the SDF in the northeast as well as in the enclave of At-Tanf in the south, along the Jordanian border.

On Thursday Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu in Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria, followed quickly by a phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the course of their recent advances in terrorist-held areas, Syrian government forces have discovered considerable amounts of Israeli-made munitions, including chemical warfare, digital equipment and drugs.

Syria's foreign minister says Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country.

"We have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian army as help, but they do not have troops", he said.


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