Iranian official: We're not leaving Syria

Senior Iranian military official: The Zionists fear our presence in Syria but that won't change.

Elad Benari ,

Massoud Jazayeri
Massoud Jazayeri

A senior Iranian military official on Sunday dismissed speculation that Iranian forces might withdraw from Syria, the Tasnim news agency reported.

“Iran and Syria enjoy deep relations that would not be influenced by the propaganda measures of anyone,” said Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, an advisor to Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

The biggest fear of the “Zionist regime of Israel” is the presence of Muslim fighters in its proximity, he explained, adding now that this has come true, the U.S. and Israel are making desperate efforts to change the situation.

“But they should know that this condition is not going to change,” he stressed.

“Unlike the American military forces and the regional reactionaries, the Iranian advisors are present in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and people,” Jazayeri noted, adding, “We are waiting to see a day that Syria and the other regional countries would witness an era without the annoying and troublemaking aliens.”

Last week, Russia declared that all non-Syrian forces operating on the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria frontier should be removed.

On Thursday, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Iranian forces were preparing to withdraw from southern Syria, pulling back away from the Israeli border.

According to the organization, Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces and Iranian-backed Shiite groups, including the Hezbollah terror organization, are preparing for a mass-withdrawal from the border area.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, on Friday confirmed to journalists that to his understanding, an agreement has been reached between Israel and Russia about removing Iranian forces from the Syrian-Israeli border. Security officials in Israel later said that there is no such agreement.

Iran has never hidden the fact that it is a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and has been providing him with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces.

Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

Late last year it was reported that Syrian army forces, backed by Iranian-backed militias, were pushing deeper into the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel.