All 'foreign forces' to leave Syria, Putin tells Assad

Clay Curtis
May 23, 2018

"Syria has its own sovereignty".

The Sky News Arabia outlet reported that the explosions were caused by an attack on an advanced Iranian air defense system.

The latest wave came in the early hours of May 10, when Israel carried out dozens of raids against what it said were "Iranian" targets in Syria.

The report noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the strike after conferring with U.S. President Donald Trump, in hopes of preventing Iran from using the anti-aircraft battery against Israeli jets carrying out strikes in Syria.

According to Russia's Defense Ministry, Israel used 28 warplanes in the attack and fired 70 missiles.

In an army statement broadcast on Syrian TV Monday, Gen. Ali Mayhoub says the army captured the former IS strongholds in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp and Hajar al-Aswad after a monthlong campaign.

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

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Iranian officials traditionally do not respond to Israeli claims, saying they do not merit an answer.

Iran is another important Assad ally.

Though a number of Western analysts have interpreted Russia's relative silence on the latest Israeli strikes (as well as apparent U-turn on prior indications that it would supply Syria with with S-300 missiles) as signs of a weakening Moscow-Damascus alliance, it is more likely that Russian Federation is pleased with Syria's current air defense systems, and sees the battlefield as increasingly stabilizing in spite of limited Israeli incursions, hence Putin's desire of "stepping up the political process" as he confirmed Thursday.

The goal of "Operation Chess" was to prevent Iran from carrying out reprisals for an Israeli airstrike against the Iranian-controlled T-4 air base in central Syria on April 9, which killed at least seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including a senior officer responsible for its drone program.

Tel Aviv has been occupying the Golan Heights since 1967.

Using Lebanon's airspace, the regime has attacked the Syrian soil on many occasions since 2011, when the Arab country found itself in the grips of a devastating foreign-backed militancy.

The US, Iran, Turkey, Russia and some other countries have troops in Syria.

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