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

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I can safely say that they also reflect the views of others in the Middle East and beyond the Middle East.

Speaking to Russia Today, the Syrian leader said that there were no Iranian troops within his borders apart from officers assisting the country's own forces.

But Hariri said three years of deepening Russian military intervention were still not enough to secure a decisive victory for Assad and that Damascus could still lose if Moscow withdrew. "I think they understand that if the Iranians continue on the present course this will lead to escalation and will blow their plans out of the water".

After the advance of the Syrian army, as well as the unreliable nature of opposition forces, the United States administration has started losing its "cards" and could be brought to the negotiation table, Assad said.

"This is the first option. If not, we're going to resort to. liberating those areas by force", he said, adding "the Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave". The area between Daraa and the Golan Heights has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between Israel and Iran, and the United States has warned it will take action to protect a cease-fire there.

While the US recently conducted a missile attack against Syrian installations, the overriding USA concern is over the projection of Iranian power in the Middle East through a strong military presence in Syria. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have also deployed in the country.

Ankara objects presidency of Assad in Syria, which backed by Russian Federation and Iran, and is advocating for a political transition period. But large patches of territory remain beyond his control, including the expansive region north of the Euphrates River that is administered by the Syrian Kurds.

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The remarks reflect that despite pressure on multiple fronts, Assad is seeking to consolidate control after seven years of civil war.

The Hadashot news report seems to contradict the understanding that Israel and Russian Federation apparently reached regarding the presence of foreign forces along the Syrian-Israeli border. Russians are talking to Iranians about the spoils, trials, and tribulations of a post-war Syria under Assad's grip.

"We believe that there is no place for any Iranian military presence, anywhere in Syria", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his parliamentary faction on Monday.

Iran-backed militias including Lebanon's Hezbollah have played a big role in support of Assad during the conflict.

Assad, however, ensured that Syria's "defense is much stronger than before, thanks to the Russian support, and the recent attacks by the Israelis and by the Americans and British and French proved that we are in a better situation".

Israel responded with an aerial bombardment that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said wiped out "most" of Iran's military infrastructure in the country.

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