Assad raises prospect of clashes with U.S. forces in Syria

Posted May 31, 2018

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors developments in the war, said Iranian advisers and allied Hezbollah fighters are preparing to leave the area under the terms of a deal being negotiated by Russian Federation and Israel for Iranian-backed forces to pull back and avert a bigger conflict.

In an interview with Russia's RT global broadcaster, Assad said he would negotiate with fighters backed on the ground by Washington, but would reclaim territory they control by force if necessary, whether or not American troops supported them.

That includes large parts of the north and east where US special forces deployed during the fight against Islamic State, supporting the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Both the SDF and Russian-backed Syrian government troops are engaged in separate operations against ISIL in eastern Syria.

In an exclusive interview shared in part Wednesday by Russian government-run news channel RT, Assad said he was unmoved by Trump's words, which were followed by US -led airstrikes against Syrian government sites suspected of being involved in the production of chemical weapons.

Mr Assad responded to US President Donald Trump's description of him as "Animal Assad", saying that "what you say is what you are".

"What you say is what you are".

"This is the first option".

"The main card was al-Nusra that was called 'moderate.' But when the scandal started leaking, that they are not moderate, they are al-Qaeda., they (the Americans) looked for another card".

Messi Sends Warning To Nigeria, Bags Hat-trick In Friendly
We have to win the first game [against Iceland], that's the most important thing because it will calm things down. "I would change a Barcelona title for one with the national team", Messi told Argentinean TV channel El Trece .

"The Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave", he said, adding that Washington should learn the lesson of its war in Iraq, which lasted longer and was much costlier than anticipated. Iraq is no exception.

The United States was counting on a total confrontation with Iran by leaving the nuclear deal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said speaking at the Primakov Readings.

An Israeli diplomatic source told Hadashot: "Even if it takes time and even if we have to accept [Syrian President Bashar] Assad coming back, at the end of these talks the Iranian threat in Syria will be lifted".

In his interview, Assad reiterated the government's denial of blame for the chemical attack. Assad told the interviewer he had no nickname for Trump because "This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

Hariri's remarks come amid intense Israeli diplomatic and military efforts against what Tel Aviv claims is a growing Iranian military presence in Syria, including a campaign of air strikes against suspected Iranian bases. Iran-backed Shi'ite militias, often spearheaded by Lebanon's Hezbollah, have played a critical role fighting in support of Assad.

Missiles fire is seen over Damascus on May 10 as Israel struck targets in Syria.

Russian Federation said on Monday that only Syrian army troops should be at the southern border with Jordan and Israel.

Joint airstrikes on chemical weapons facilities were carried out by the US, UK and France following the alleged poison gas attack.