Iran Announces Plan To Stay In Syria As Pompeo Issues Unprecedented Threats

After last Thursday's relatively brief meeting in Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria's Bashar al-Assad wherein Putin stressed that it is necessary for all "foreign forces" to withdraw from Syria, there's been much speculation over what Putin actually meant

Many were quick to point out that Assad had agreed that "illegal foreign forces" should exit Syria — meaning those uninvited occupying forces in the north and northeast, namely, US troops, Turkish troops and their proxies, and all foreign jihadists — while most mainstream Western outlets, CNN and the Washington Post among them, hailed Putin's request to see Iran withdraw from Syria. 

Whatever non-Syrian entity Putin intended to include by his words, both Syria and Iran gave their unambiguous response on Monday: Iran announced it would stay in Syria at the request of the Assad government.

Syrians wave Iranian, Russian and Syrian flags during a protest against previous U.S.-led air strikes in Damascus. Image source: Reuters via Hindustan Times

“Should the Syrians want us, we will continue to be there,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi declared from Tehran, cited by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency. “Nobody can force Iran to do anything; Iran has its own independent policies,” Qasemi said, in response to a question referencing the widespread reports that Russia desires Iran to withdraw forces from Syria.  

“Those who entered Syria without the permission of the Syrian government are the ones that must leave the country,” he said further in a clear reference to the some 2000 US troops currently occupying Syrian-Kurdish areas in the northeast and eastern parts of the country.   

As we noted in the aftermath of Israel's May 10 massive attack on multiple locations inside Syria which marked the biggest military escalations between the two countries in decades, Russia has appeared content to stay on the sidelines while Syria and Israel test confrontational limits; however, Russia is carefully balancing its interests in Syria, eager to avoid an uncontrolled escalation leading to a direct great power confrontation. 

But increasingly Israel's patience appears to be wearing thin after Prime Minister Netanyahu's oft-repeated "Iranian red line" warning has gone unheeded. In multiple summits with Putin going back to 2015 (the two have met over 6 times since then), Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed he would not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria and further signaled willingness to go to war in Syria to curtail Iranian influence. 

"Iran is already well on its way to controlling Iraq, Yemen and to a large extent is already in practice in control of Lebanon," Netanyahu told Putin in one especially tense meeting in August 2017, and added further that, "We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens every day to annihilate Israel. Israel opposes Iran's continued entrenchment in Syria. We will be sure to defend ourselves with all means against this and any threat."

Israel's uptick in military strikes on Syria — attacks on sites purported to be Iranian bases housing Iranian assets — have intensified exponentially over the past half-year, nearly leading to an unprecedented breakout of region wide war during the May 10 exchange of fire, wherein Israel claimed to have been attacked by Iranian rocket fire. 

The fact that both Iran and Syria can so openly and confidently announce Iran's intent to stay in Syria means Damascus sees itself in new position of strength after both shooting down multiple Israeli missiles and simultaneously firing rockets into Israeli occupied Golan territory — a response perhaps very unexpected by Israel's leadership which had grown accustomed to attacking the Syrian army and its allies with impunity. 

Meanwhile, Damascus announced Monday that all suburbs around the capital have been fully liberated from al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists, marking the end of a years long insurgency in and around the capital. As Al-Masdar News noted, "The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is in full control of Damascus city and its countryside for the first time since the advent of this conflict."

Yet the pattern which has emerged over the past few years has been that every time the Syrian Army emerges victorious or carries overwhelming military momentum, Israel or the US launches an attack. 

The US for its part issued one of its strongest ultimatums yet to Iran yet via Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who vowed on Monday that Tehran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if it does not comply with a list of 12 US demands, including Iranian withdrawal from Syria.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected Pompeo's bombastic demands and vowed to continue “our path,” insisting that the US could not "decide for the world."

Rouhani's words, as quoted by ILNA news agency, were as follows: “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent ... that era is over... We will continue our path with the support of our nation.” This continuing escalation of rhetoric will likely only ensure Iran becomes even more entrenched in Syria, but it will be interesting to see how Russia responds diplomatically.

We've already seen Israel's "diplomacy" in the form of repeat missile attacks, but how much will Russia and Iran sit back and take before enforcing their own red lines against Israel and the West? 

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Comments

IntercoursetheEU Mon, 05/21/2018 - 23:28 Permalink

We all learn the hard way. The party is officially over, and the anti-Israel, pro-Islam troll farm gate wide open:

"Recall that the director of the FBI at that time [2012] was Robert Mueller. James Comey, who later replaced Mueller in that post, was a member of the HSBC board of directors. The case was settled by Loretta Lynch who then was the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The attorney general was Eric Holder. Just to make sure the case is clear, please understand that the Obama Dept. of Justice allowed HSBC to pay fines to avoid facing criminal responsibility for helping Mexican drug cartels and terrorist organizations with ties to countries like Iran launder hundreds of millions of dollars into the US banking system from foreign sources."

Killing the Deep State, Dr. Jerome Corsi PhD., p 164

 

TBT or not TBT Brazen Heist Tue, 05/22/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Assad has little ability to defend "Syria", nevermind defend the mullahcracy in Teheran.  So, "mutual" my ass.   The mullah regime is taking advantage of the civil war and vacuums they ''ve actively comments in former Iraq and former Syria and forms Lebanon to set up a Shia hegemonic swath from home to the Mediterranean, and to set up shop militarily next to Israel.     They're ruthless animals .  

In reply to by Brazen Heist

Ace006 TBT or not TBT Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:08 Permalink

OK, but I don't see why you put Syria in quotes and suggest it's not a sovereign nation.

Its the illegal and unconstitutional US attack on that sovereign nation that's disgusting,  not to mention the insufferable arrogance of Pompeo and Trump. 

Nor are the IRGC uniquely unpleasant.  The real scum in Syria are the jihad headchoppers followed closely by the Israelis who seem to think they are God's own gift to the world. Their crimes in Gaza just are stupefying but justified by their trademark "we so special" casual relationship with the truth. 

The exact awfulness of the Iranians in Syria or at home,  in fact , needs to considered separately and afresh instead of accepting Israeli and American bullshit about them.  The VIPS have already demolished the charge - endlessly repeated without evidence - that they are the chiefsponsorsofterrorintheworld. Guess who's responsible for the death of over 500,000 Syrians.  It's not the Iranians.

And they are not the chief threat to world peace in the present hour . That honor belongs to the US. 

Also , it's not a civil war but a combined international attack on Syria, a war crime .

I don't mean to take after you . Your comment hinted at a lot of very hot issues, however,  that our MSM cowards and lickspittles won't touch .

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

PrivetHedge ShakenNotStirred Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:06 Permalink

The facts on the ground show that Israel is playing with fire and has now surrounded itself with angry, competent armies of nations as a direct result of their attacks.

Bibi and his merry band of satanists must surely be the most stupid people in history, a lesson in how to surround yourself with hostile forces and to turn your parasitic rogue state into a welfare clown working hard to make as many enemies as possible, in the process spending most of it's time wasted in pathetic wars and Orwellian games.

Total losers, Remphan is having fun with Israel indeed. He is laughing at you.

In reply to by ShakenNotStirred

Fireman espirit Tue, 05/22/2018 - 04:43 Permalink

There can be no peace in the ME until the anglozionazi khazarian supremacist mess in occupied, apartheid Palestine is defanged and sanitized. Expecting Iran and Syria to fold and bow to the will of the anglozionazis is silly beyond description. The khazarian rump entity will look like all the victims of USSA'S serial judaic wars, i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc etc before bankruptcy finally kick-starts the long overdue civil war reloaded in Slumville. Eventually USSANS will rip the stinking albatross of zion from their necks if they are to survive that is.

In reply to by espirit

any_mouse IntercoursetheEU Mon, 05/21/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

Okay, and Israel has to leave the Golan Heights.

Nobody talks about the Golan Heights. Israel invades and stays. Seems to be okay with Americans.

Israel bought stolen Iraqi oil from ISIS via Turkey. Seems like a sanctionable offense. crickets.

ISIS fires on IDF. ISIS apologizes to the IDF. Crickets.

There is a pattern there, that a lot of people cannot perceive.

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

PrivetHedge ShakenNotStirred Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:10 Permalink

You conveniently forgot that Israel is a pharisee nation worshipping the devil through the Babylonian talmud, and has less claim to the holy land than pretty much any other tribe on earth.

You are being hexed by your own flag and your own satanic beliefs.

Take a step back and look at what Israel is, a spiteful murdering parasite with a fixation on making enemies and destroying and polluting the planet.

In reply to by ShakenNotStirred

BorraChoom ShakenNotStirred Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:14 Permalink

Israel's game is to frame Arabs and set them up as targets for the United States.

USS Liberty was attacked in international waters by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967.

Israel attacked the USS Liberty using UNMARKED AIRCRAFT. This is the single fact which proves Israel knew exactly who they were attacking. Israel's story is that they thought USS Liberty was an Egyptian ship and therefore a legitimate target of war. Were that true, there would be no reason to attack a supposedly Egyptian ship with unmarked aircraft. The only possible reason to use unmarked aircraft to attack the ship is that Israel knew it was an American ship and intended to sink it, then to blame the attack on Egypt.

Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.

Retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, who as top legal council to the official investigation is in a position to know, agrees that Israel intended to sink the USS Liberty and blame Egypt for it, thus dragging the United States into a war on Israel's behalf. This seems to be a common trick of Israel.

 

In reply to by ShakenNotStirred

Ace006 BorraChoom Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:06 Permalink

That's excellent .

The attempt to finger Egypt as the attacker seems weak to me.  The Liberty was obviously an intelligence ship and Egypt had nothing to gain by antagonizing the US or eliminating such a ship.

Israel , however , had reason to cover up that there was no threat from the Golan (??) or that they were going to take it.  The Liberty heard something the Israelis didn't want heard,  I'm thinking. Lots of planning with those unmarked planes ....

In reply to by BorraChoom

bshirley1968 Juggernaut x2 Mon, 05/21/2018 - 23:55 Permalink

Yeah, they are real bad asses when the US military might has their back.

This: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Tehran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if it does not comply with a list of 12 US demands, including Iranian withdrawal from Syria.".....is the real story. We have been doing this all over the world.....and the self-righteous jackasses sit around and bash socialism as if the US hasn't turned into the biggest nanny state on the planet.....who then basks in the warm glow of the world reserve fiat as if we are a bastion of capitalism. Extreme hypocrisy.

In reply to by Juggernaut x2