Syrian government vows to fight rebels despite United States warning

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When Syrian President Bashar al Assad visited Moscow May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, among other things, that the time was ripe for the start of a more active phase of the political process, part of which will be that "foreign armed forces will be withdrawing from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic".

"This is the first option".

The Lieberman-Shoigu talks come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during which the two men specifically discussed a proposed US-Russian-Jordanian agreement on the deployment of forces in southern Syria. In the interview with RT, Assad said Russian Federation and the United States came close to a confrontation in Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war through a network of activists on the ground, says at least 68 Iranian and pro-Iranian forces have been killed in Israeli strikes since April. "The Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave", he continued.

In the interview with Russia Today, the controversial Syrian leader said US officials have "lost its cards" and should learn the same lesson Iraq did.

"The only problem left in Syria is the SDF", Assad told Russia Today in an interview aired yesterday, referring to the SDF, which Washington backs against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

However, on Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that he was unaware of any such agreement between Russia and Israel.

More strikes by US ally Israel have further raised fears that the devastating seven-year war could still escalate.

The U.S. joined the United Kingdom and France in airstrikes against Syria last month, following a reported chemical attack on civilians.

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

Russian broadcaster RT asked Assad if he also had a nickname for Trump, to which the Syrian president answered: "This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

Hariri pushed back against Assad's comments, stressing that Russian Federation and Iran had been fighting on behalf of Assad in the Syrian war, helping him retake considerable territory from rebels and Islamic groups.

Forces loyal to Assad and the Syrian Kurds have clashed sporadically over the eastern oil province of Deir el-Zour.

He added: "I think there is a very known principle, that what you say is what you are".

In response to claims that Israel only targets Iranian forces in Syria, Assad said that there are no Iranian troops in Syria but "we have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian army as a help they (Iranians) don't have troops".

Assad also sought in his interview to minimise the extent of Iran's presence in Syria.