A senior Iranian diplomat says Iran's military forces play an advisory role in Syria at the request of Damascus, unlike the American troops that are deployed to the country without the Syrian government's consent.
Asked whether Iran will leave Syria, Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said on Wednesday that Iran's presence in Syria is of advisory nature, unlike the US' and Turkey's presence in the country, stressing that his country’s presence is taking place at the invitation of the Syrian government.
He stressed that the future of Iran's advisory mission in Syria depends on the situation in the war-ravaged country.
Kharrazi made the remarks during a meeting with media in Lebanon to where he headed following his trip to Syria during which he met President Bashar al-Assad.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he vowed that no Israeli crime committed against the Iranian advisors in Syria will go unanswered.
Iran maintains an advisory mission in Syria at the request of Damascus with the aim of helping the war-torn Arab country get rid of the foreign-backed militants, who have been fighting against the democratically-elected Syrian government since 2011.
In 2017, Iran’s advisory assistance helped Syria defeat the Daesh terrorist group.
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, played a key role in the defeat of the Takfiri outfit.
Israel has been a key supporter of the terrorist groups operating on the soil of Syria and has targeted the positions of Iran’s military advisors as well as those of the Syrian army and resistance groups that have been fighting the terrorists.
Meanwhile, Israel's main ally, the US, has for years deployed troops and equipment to northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the restive area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is designed to plunder the country’s rich natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.
Turkey has also deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants away from border areas. Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
Syria considers the Turkish presence on its soil to be illegal.