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Presence of Iranian military advisors in Syria legitimate: Lavrov

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart in Moscow on October 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed that the presence of  Iranian military advisors in Syria is “legitimate.”

On Tuesday,  Lavrov denied any talks between Moscow and Washington over the withdrawal of Iranian advisors, stressing that no such promise had been made.

Iran, along with Russia, has a military advisory mission in Syria aimed at strengthening its army on the battlefield against terrorism. Moscow has also been providing air cover to Syria’s ground offensives. Syrian forces are also receiving assistance from fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

On Saturday, US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin affirmed joint efforts to stabilize the war-torn Arab country as the foreign-backed militancy dies down. Parts of the efforts are said to be the expansion of the July truce in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

Lavrov further accused Washington of suppurating foreign terrorists and armed opposition groups, saying US even tried to spare the terrorists in the town of Bukamal, on the border between Syria and Iraq.

“The US air force tried to prevent a Russian air strike against Daesh in the Bukamal, region in Syria near the Iraqi border,” he said.

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Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry has accused the US of only pretending to fight terrorism in the Middle East, saying it has “conclusive evidence” that Washington provides air cover for Daesh in Syria.  

Backed by their allies, Syrian government forces have managed to deal heavy blows to terrorist groups, which have been wreaking havoc on the Arab nation since early 2011.

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