Russia, USA and Jordan to meet on southern Syria amid tensions: RIA


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Thursday to recover the country's territory held by US troops, threatening to expel American forces.

Assad also said Russian Federation deterred the West from launching a devastating country-wide airstrike last month - and that Damascus has almost won the seven-year civil war against rebel factions supported by the US government.

The disputed area is primarily to the east of the Euphrates River, along the northern border which Syria shares with Turkey. "If not, we're going to liberating those areas by force".

Meanwhile, in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met with a delegation from the Syrian opposition, headed by the secretary-general of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Naser al-Hariri. Last year, they led rival campaigns against the Islamic State group, and maintain a protracted front against each other along the Euphrates.

"We are concerned by these reports of an impending Syrian regime operation in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone previously negotiated between the US, Jordan and Russian Federation", U.S. Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown from the US Central Command told i24NEWS in a statement. "The Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave", Assad said.

Based on the memorandum, Israel and the US agreed to set up joint teams to coordinate counter-measures against Iran. He then admitted there might be a few Iranian advisers working with the Syrian army here and there. Israel in recent months ramped up its strikes on alleged Hezbollah and Iranian positions and weapons depots inside Syria, sparking fears of a regional war.

"Assad's regime and Assad himself will disappear from the map and the world if the Iranians do try to harm Israel or its interests from Syrian territory", said senior officials in the defense establishment.

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"We can not separate one from another, the (Iranian) nuclear program from Tehran's missile program and Iran's malign behavior in our region", he said.

Israeli officials "said that they attacked Iranian bases and camps", he said.

Asked if there was anything Syria could do to stop Israeli air strikes, he said the only option was to improve air defences, "and we are doing that". "We would have no problem admitting their presence". Everything concerning the work on the border between Syria and Jordan was to be discussed, where Russian Federation has an agreement with Amman and Washington, TASS quoted Shoigu as saying.

Russian news outlets had recently reported that moscow wants to cut a deal that would see Russian military police deployed to areas near Israel.

Russian Federation said on Monday only Syrian army troops should be on the country's southern border with Jordan and Israel, after Washington warned of "firm measures" over truce violations in the region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Netanyahu announced that he will travel to Germany, France and Britain next week to meet with European leaders on Iran's presence in Syria and the 2015 nuclear deal.