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"We don't have any other options, with the Americans or without the Americans", Assad told RT in an interview.

In an interview with Russia Today, Russia's state-owned worldwide broadcaster, Assad said the United States should heed the lessons of Iraq and get out of Syria before they are forced to leave.

Syrian government forces recently dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Daraa, warning of an imminent offensive and urging the insurgents to lay down their arms.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in comments broadcast on Thursday that he would wage war to expel USA troops from northeastern Syria if dialogue fails to bring the area back under government control.

Assad also said the government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" with the SDF, a Kurdish dominated militia alliance that controls parts of northern and eastern Syria where US forces are stationed.

Answering questions of journalists, the Russian Minister reminded that in July 2017, three States - Russia, the USA and Jordan agreed to establish on the southern border area of Syria de-escalation. It called for all foreign troops to withdraw from Syria, which the Iranians promptly and very publicly rejected. However, numerous USA officials to, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, objected to the idea.

A US -led wave of Western missile strikes on Syrian government targets across the country last month raised fears of a Russian response and full-blown internationalization of the conflict. Reports have also circulated that Iran is being pressured to reduce its presence in Syria.

Prince Charles greets Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at St. James Palace in London.

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The Kremlin said the conversation focused on "some aspects of the Syrian settlement", which it didn't specify, following up on the two leaders' talks in Moscow earlier this month.

At the moment, the control of the border area close to Jordan and Israel is shared between Syrian government forces and different militant groups.

"Of course, the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces must be carried out on a mutual basis, this should be a two-way street", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Monday.

The remarks reflect that despite pressure on multiple fronts, Assad is seeking to consolidate control after seven years of civil war.

Assad, however, ensured that Syria's "defense is much stronger than before, thanks to the Russian support, and the recent attacks by the Israelis and by the Americans and British and French proved that we are in a better situation".

The Israeli military last February accused Iranian-backed militias of operating at the base, from where it said an Iranian drone that was shot down over northern Israel had been launched.

Israel, which is deeply alarmed by Tehran's influence in Syria, said it destroyed dozens of Iranian military sites in Syria in May, after Iranian forces in Syria fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time.

Assad admitted that there are Iranian officials "working with the Syrian army and offering help".


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