Russia calls for foreign troop pullout from Syria including Iran, Hezbollah

May 19, 2018

Staff Writers

Source: Al Arabiya

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia May 17, 2018. (Reuters)

In comments published Friday, Russian presidential envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev confirmed that President Vladimir Puttin’s remarks on the need to withdraw foreign troops from Syria had implied Iranian forces and Hezbollah militia fighters as well as Turkish and American troops.

On the heels of a meeting between Putin and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Russian resort of Sochi on Thursday, Lavrentiev added: “This statement involves all foreign troops in Syria including the Turkish, American, Iranian and Hezbollah.”

Lavrentiev stressed that Putin’s statement on this issue represents a “political message”, but added “not to view it as the beginning of a withdrawal process of foreign troops from Syria.”

The Russian envoy said: “This is a very complex matter, because these measures must be implemented collectively, and start in parallel with a stabilizing process, because the military part is nearing its end and the confrontations are currently in a final stage.”

Putin had said earlier on Thursday after meeting with Assad that “we start off from the tangible victories and the success of the Syrian army in the fight against terrorism and the launch of an active phase of a political process, which will be followed by the start of the pullout of foreign armed forces from Syrian territory.”