World Media

Explosion heard at Iranian base south of Damascus

Explosion heard at Iranian base south of Damascus

Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks that foreign troops must withdraw from Syria after the start of the political settlement phase have been clarified by a Kremlin spokesman, Ad-Dustour has reported.

Iran will stay in Syria as long as it is needed, the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

The spokesman went on to say that within the framework of the first joint commission of the JCPOA, which is expected to be held without the U.S. presence in the coming days at Iran's request, Tehran and the remaining sides will only discuss the JCPOA and the issues related to the deal.

"Our presence there is legitimate and at the government's behest".

Iran stressed on Monday its presence in Syria has been legitimate and under the request of Damascus.

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The last push on the Yarmouk camp came after a group of civilians was evacuated overnight.

Some reports point out that the requirement to pull out of Syria would also apply to Iranian forces and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia. Some fired in the air in celebration.

Assad was on a surprise visit to Russian Federation.

Syrian troops and their allies are expected to turn their attention to opposition-held parts of southern Syria, including Daraa province, in a push that could bring allied Iranian forces even closer to the increasingly tense frontier with Israel.

In a statement, the Syrian army announced that "Damascus, its outskirts and surrounding towns are completely secure".

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Tensions between the two historic rivals flared up earlier this month when US President Donald Trump moved his nation's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces are now clearing the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, a built-up residential area, of the last remaining IS fighters.

The TV earlier quoted an unnamed Syrian military official as saying the two-day truce had been in place to evacuate women, children and the elderly on Sunday night from Hajar al-Aswad.

Israel has been acting as a de facto air force of the militants for some time but its extensive raids on May 10 were its most brazenly direct engagement in Syria's fight on terrorism.

Information for this article was contributed by Nasser Karimi, Albert Aji and Bassem Mroue of The Associated Press.

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