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US calls on Iran to withdraw from Syria

Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers [file photo]
Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers [file photo]

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday called on Iran to withdraw its troops and allied militia from Syria.

“We are quite concerned about the recent incident involving Israel and Iranian assets inside of Syria. And I think this again illustrates why Iran’s presence in Syria is only destabilising to the region,” Tillerson said during a press conference in Amman.

He added that the United States has a sophisticated plan for peace in the Middle East, which has been under development for several months and is now in advanced stages.

Remarking on the US official’s statement, Ali Akbar Velayati, chief adviser to Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei, said: “Iran’s presence in Syria is legitimate, and it is the United States that should leave.”

While in Jordan, Tillerson yesterday met with a delegation from the Syrian negotiation commission headed by Nasr Hariri.

Read: Jordan secures $6.4bn aid package despite Trump threats

The opposition delegation included Hassan Abdul Azim, head of the Syrian National Coordination Committee, and Abdul Ilah Fahad, Abab Khalil and Fadawi Al-Ajili of the coalition of opposition forces.

The Syrian delegation met earlier with State Department officials and discussed the outcomes of the Syrian dialogue conference held in the Russian resort of Sochi, which concluded on 31 January.

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