BEIRUT - The withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria, demanded by the United States, is not up for discussion, a top Syrian official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, adding that Damascus was deciding on its next campaign against rebels.
“Whether Iranian forces or Hezbollah withdraw or stay in Syria is not up for discussion because it’s the (business) of the Syrian government,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik state news agency.
Backed by Russian warplanes, ground forces from Iran and allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have helped President Bashar al-Assad drive rebels from Syria’s biggest cities, putting him in an unassailable military position.
In recent weeks, they have recaptured all remaining insurgent areas near Damascus, including the densely populated eastern Ghouta area, as well as big enclaves in central Syria.
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