Monitor says Iran, Hezbollah preparing to withdraw from southern Syria near Israel’s Golan Heights
A Syrian war monitor says Iranian troops and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group are getting ready to withdraw from southern Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday Iranian ‘advisers’ and Hezbollah fighters will be withdrawing from the southern regions of Daraa and Quneitra near Israel’s Golan Heights.
A Syria-based official with the Iran-led axis denied the report saying it is “untrue.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, gave no further details.
Russian news outlets had recently reported that Moscow wants to cut a deal that would see Russian military police deployed to areas near Israel. The agreement would envisage the pullout of all Iranian forces from the area and require Syrian rebels to surrender heavy weapons.
Earlier today, President Vladimir Putin has had a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation in Syria.
The Kremlin said the conversation focused on “some aspects of the Syrian settlement,” which it didn’t specify, following up on the two leaders’ talks in Moscow earlier this month.
The phone call came as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was visiting Moscow Thursday for talks on the situation along Syria’s border with Israel.
The report on the Iranian pullout came shortly after Syrian dictator Bashar Assad denied claims of an Iranian military presence in his country.
“There are Iranian forces and there is Iranian presence in Syria, everybody knows that. Iranian troops and even a general were killed in Syria, both recently and in the past,” Israel’s energy Yuval Steinitz said.
“This isn’t the first time Assad has lied. He also said there were no chemical weapons in Syria, and that he never used chemical weapons—and we know the truth behind that,” he went on to say.