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Iran to remain in Syria to keep Israel out: Official

A Syrian government soldier flashes the victory sign while riding in the back of a pickup truck with comrades at the Nassib border crossing with Jordan in the southern Dara'a Province on July 7, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

A senior Iranian official says Iranian military advisers will continue their presence in Syria to help the Arab country defeat an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian parliament speaker's special adviser on international affairs, stressed that Syrians would not permit the Zionists in their homeland following the collapse of the Daesh terrorist group.

"The Zionist regime tries to gain dominance over Syria after Daesh, but resistance forces and military advisers from the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue their presence alongside Syria to counter terrorism, " he said in a meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Tehran Salah al-Zawawi.

"The Syrian people will not allow the country to be turned into the hotbed of Zionist terrorists once again," Amir-Abdollahian noted.

Over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

Tel Aviv has also been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

Amir-Abdollahian also said Tehran will keep up its "decisive support" for the resistance and will not give in to pressures as regards the Palestinian issue and Israeli threats against the security of the regional countries.

Zawawi, for his part, warned that Israel's right-wing Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking to control the Muslim world.

He further said the US is exerting economic pressure on some regional countries to advance the plans of President Donald Trump, who himself is implementing the will of the international Zionism.

Iran’s role in Syria is reported to be addressed at the July 16 meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, said last weekend that the summit offered the possibility of a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria."

Such a deal, he said, would amount to “a significant step forward” in promoting Washington's interests in the region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, rejected reports that Iran's role in Syria would be raised at the Helsinki summit.

"At any rate, the Russian side is getting ready, and Putin is prepared to discuss the topic of Syria," he said, adding reports that Trump and Putin will discuss "a third country ... are not true."

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