DAMASCUS – Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid Mualem demanded that Washington withdraw its military forces from the US military base in Al-Tanf. The senior official ruled out the possibility of negotiating any separation agreement in southern Syria before the withdrawal of US troops.
Washington is to leave the military base in Al-Tanf, Mualem said during a news conference in Damascus.
“When the US withdraws its troops, we will negotiate a security agreement in southern Syria,” the minister said.
According to the Syrian official, at the moment Damascus is not negotiating agreements regarding the situation in the south of the country. Mualem thus denied information on an alleged separation of forces agreement in the area.
“As long as the Americans are present in Al-Tanf, we do not trust those statements,” he said.
In addition, the deputy prime minister called for the end of the foreign military presence in the city of Raqqa, occupied by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in order to start direct negotiations between the Syrian government and the Kurdish and Arab fighters of the SDF.
Information on Damascus’s resumption of control of southern Syria began to circulate in late May. The area has a strong presence of the US military, which hampers the military operations of the country’s government.
In Al-Tanf, one of the US military bases is operating illegally in Syria – installed in April 2017, despite objections from the Syrian government to “combat terrorists.”
Major-General and Syrian military specialist Muhammad Abbas spoke about the possible US plans for Syria.
“The United States is trying to take control of the border between Syria and Iraq to break the link between the two states. To achieve this goal, clashes are provoked in the territory of Al-Tanf in the southern part of al-Suwayda and Palmyra,” explained the Major-General.
“The US is seeking to prolong the war in Syria, and I admit that Palmyra may once again be the target of its attacks. The conquest of Palmyra may undermine the stability and security of the area, stability that the Syrian government has secured over the last two years,” he added.