During the recent summit between the Syrian President Dr. Bashar al-Assad and his Russian counterpart Mr. Vladimir Putin at the Russian resort city Sochi, Mr. Putin called for all foreign troops to leave Syria.
In our report covering the summit, we highlighted this particular part of Mr. Putin’s statement, among other issues of matter, and emphasized on the possibility it could be “a slip of a tongue by Mr. Putin, and that he was referring to foreign troops uninvited officially by the Syrian state”.
We expressed our hope this would not be, as it seemed as if Mr. Putin was “bowing to his ‘Western Partners’ and Israel’s demands of the withdrawal of any Iranian advisors or Hezbollah fighters from the country.”
In our post we explicitly explained that the presence of ‘Iranian advisors were based on a mutual defense pact signed between Syria and Iran’ which was signed long before the current Syrian crisis, and that the presence of Hezbollah fighters in Syria was based on the “the blood-brotherhood between the SAA and the Lebanese Resistance Hezbollah Movement.” We did say that both the Iranian advisors and Hezbollah fighters were in Syria based on an invitation by the Syrian state just like the case of Russian troops and advisors.
Pan Arab Lebanese AlMayadeen news agency reported that ‘The Russian president’s position on the demand of withdrawal of Iranian troops in Syria is untrue’. The news agency relaying Syrian presidential sources asked about the subject ’emphasized that Russian and Iranian forces presence in Syria is by a request of the (Syrian) government and its departure would be by the request of Damascus’.
AlMayadeen added that the Syrian presidential sources have reiterated a Russian official explanation of Mr. Putin’s statement that it ‘does not include Russian and Iranian forces presence is by a request of the legitimate government in Syria.’
Russian presidential envoy for Syria Mr. Alexander Lavrentiev said, as per a number of news outlets, that ‘the withdrawal of foreign forces from Syria includes all foreign forces, and that means the US, Turkish, Hezbollah, and Iranians,’ as per alMayadeen, and also includes any British, French, Saudi, Qatari, Israeli, al-Qaeda, FSA, Nusra Front, ISIS… forces in general and whoever operates in Syria without the Syrian state official invitation. It seems that Mr. Lavrentiev was carried away by the success in the latest Astana talks where the head of the terrorists delegation regretted resorting to violence in Syria, and the special Russian presidential envoy needed an awakening call by his superiors.