Iran calls on US to immediately end illegal presence in Syria


TEHRAN –  The Iranian ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi said that his country, along with other guarantors of the Astana Format, continues to support the inherent right of Syria’s Government to fight terrorists designated by the Security Council.

Takht Ravanchi spoke at UN Security Council Meeting in New York City to discuss the ongoing hostilities in the Syrian city of Idlib, on Tuesday, Iran Press reported.

Idlib’s de-escalation area has been created to protect civilians from terrorists, not provide a safe zone for the latter, the Iranian ambassador noted. The US has used the Idlib de-escalation zone in a touch-and-go game with Turkey, which has vacillated on the Syria question ever since it was moved formally away from the anti-Syria alliance.

Turkey claims that it has worked to disentangle and clarify command structures between illegal FSA units they control, known in the expert community as the TFSA (Turkish controlled Free Syrian Army) which Damascus is tolerating. Damascus tolerates this presence for the time being provided that other groups under US, Israeli, and Saudi influence are liquidated, without haste.

Russia and Turkey established a protocol program and patrol regime to separate these invading/insurgent units.

Takht Ravanchi said further, “It is also obvious that these internationally designated terrorist groups cannot and should not be allowed to continue their control over a large part of a sovereign state’s territory.”

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“Otherwise, Idlib will certainly turn into a safe haven for the cruelest terrorists to continue conducting their operations and to kill more civilians inside and outside of Idlib,” he added.

Speaking during the same meeting, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations said the Western information on the Syrian army’s operations in Idlib province is based on lies.

Bashar Jaafari stated that the Syrian army never targets schools and hospitals, emphasizing that terrorists continue to take hundreds of thousands of civilians as human shields in Idlib, commit the most heinous crimes against them and continue their attacks on neighboring towns and citizens.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the Astana talks format is the only way to stabilize the situation in Syria.

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