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Russian envoy says no conflict with Iran in Syria, blasts ‘israeli’ strikes

Russian Ambassador to Syria Aleksandr Yefimov says Moscow and Tehran are cooperating closely with each other to work out an effective solution to the ongoing Syrian conflict.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Russia’s state-owned RT Arabic television news network on Thursday, Yefimov dismissed reports of disagreements between Russia and Iran over Syria.

“Allegations about differences between Russia and Iran over Syria have been going around for a while. They are being circulated by hostile parties, who are primarily interested in opening up a rift between the two countries and our common ally Syria. I am not, personally, aware whether Russia and Iran have such differences,” the Russian diplomat said.

Yefimov further noted that Moscow and Tehran are working in close cooperation with each other for a common cause in Syria. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, just like Russia, is present here legally at the invitation of Syrian authorities. It is helping the Damascus government overcome urgent problems arising from the crisis that has been going on for several years,” he said.

“There is constant interaction between Moscow and Tehran at all levels, including high-level contact, regarding Syria. It is yielding tangible results,” the Russian ambassador added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Yefimov denounced Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian territory as “blatant violation of the international law.”

“Such raids not only violate the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, but also pose a threat to international air traffic. They generally exacerbate the already volatile military-political situation around Syria,” he said.

“The Israelis claim that they are acting for their own security. Their attacks, however, are fairly provocative in nature, and do not ensure peace and stability in Syria in one way or another. Such assaults endanger innocent lives, and increase the risk of … an uncontrollable military confrontation,” the Russian diplomat stressed.

Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

The Tel Aviv regime mostly keeps quiet about its attacks on Syrian territories which many view as a knee-jerk reaction to Syrian government’s increasing success in confronting terrorism.

Israel has been a main supporter of terrorist groups that have vainly been fighting since 2011 to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.  

Rockets hit US base in northeast Syria 

A barrage of rockets was fired Thursday at a base in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah where US occupation forces are stationed.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency, citing local sources, reported that the rockets struck the base near the al-Jabsah oilfield.

The sources said loud explosions were heard in the nearby town of al-Shaddadi, and huge plumes of thick black smoke could be seen rising to the sky.

The rockets, they said, came from the northwestern side of Shaddadi, which is an empty area and consists of hills, valleys and caves.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in Syria for its oil.

Army troops enter Tasil town in Dara’a

On Thursday, Syrian army troops entered another town in the country’s southwestern province of Dara’a and raised the national flag, as government forces continue driving Takfiri militants out of occupied territories.

Syria’s official news agency SANA said army soldiers started reinforcing their positions in the town of Tasil after local militants surrendered their weapons to the Syrian army as part of a truce deal brokered by Russia.

The development came hours after Syrian army troops took full control of Western al-Bakkar, Eastern al-Bakkar and al-Abdali villages.

Militants surrender weapons  

Separately, armed men in the town of Nawa started surrendering their medium and heavy weapons to government forces.

Earlier this month, Syrian army units entered Dara’a al-Balad neighborhood and raised Syria’s national flag there.

Back in 2018, Syrian army troops managed to establish control over Dara’a Province, which is bordered by Jordan to the south and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to the west. 

Full government control over Dara’a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan Heights, where the Israeli regime has treated wounded terrorists fighting against the Syrian government since 2011.

The territory’s return to Syrian government control could cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv’s plans to annex the Golan Heights.

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