BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said that there are no Iranian forces on Syrian soil and that the Iranian presence is represented by military experts.

Assad said in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik Agency: “We do not have Iranian forces, and this is very clear. They support Syria. They send military experts and work with our forces on the ground, and they are with the Syrian army.”

Assad continued: “Let’s take a practical example: about a year ago, the Americans told the Russians to convince the Iranians that they should be 80 kilometers from the border with the Golan Heights that is occupied by the Israelis.”

“Although there were no Iranian soldiers, the Iranians were very flexible, so they said: ‘Well, there will be no Iranian crews south of that line.’ The Americans said that if we could agree on this, we would withdraw from the occupied eastern part of Syria on the border with Iraq, or the area called al-Tanf, but nothing happened,” he said.

Al-Assad added in this context: “The Iranian issue is a pretext to continue occupying Syrian lands and support the terrorists, it is used as a mask to conceal their true intentions. The only way for them to implement what they say is when Syria becomes a puppet state in the hands of the United States. This is what they want and nothing else.”

“Another thing they talk about is nothing more than lies and false allegations. Therefore, I do not think that there is any real solution with the Americans as long as they do not want to change their behavior,” he added.

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