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Khamenei Adviser: Iran Coordinates Military Presence in Syria With Russia

Khamenei Adviser: Iran Coordinates Military Presence in Syria With Russia

Ali Akbar Velayati, who is due to meet President Vladimir Putin, also took a swipe at US President Donald Trump, saying his "unreliable" actions made Tehran's close ties with Moscow all the more necessary.

Velayati also said that USA sanctions against Iran could raise oil prices and harm oil consumers.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces advance against rebels near the Golan and Jordan.

As various rebel alliances fractured and jihadi forces such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) took over, however, the USA began to shift its priorities in the conflict and Russian Federation intervened in support of Assad and his Iranian ally.

Tehran and Moscow share common interests, and Iran-Russia cooperation in helping Syria counter terrorism is an "exemplary model of cooperation", Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, was quoted as saying by Tehran Times daily.

The Iranian leader, however seemed to suggest otherwise, promising that the USA presence in Syria would eventually be removed. "He said Russian Federation will stand by Iran and will defend Tehran's rights", Velayati said.

In a Thursday interview with VOA Persian from Moscow, Netanyahu's Arab media spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said Russian Federation "understands" Israeli concerns about the Iranian military presence in Syria.

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After two weeks of intensive military operations in southern Syria, Assad's forces are now in control of the southern city of Daraa, where the revolution against Assad started seven years ago, and the surrounding countryside.

Trump and Putin are expected to discuss Iran's regional role and the Syrian conflict at a summit in Helsinki next Monday.

So what might a potential deal look like?

He said had it not been for the assistance of Iran and Russian Federation, the head of An-Nusra Front in Syria and Abu bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq would now be ruling there.

Comments by some US officials have also indicated what might be an emerging compromise.

For that to happen, Israel would want guarantees that Assad honor a decades-old agreement that sets out a demilitarized zone along the frontier and limits the forces each side can deploy within 15 miles (25 kilometers).

Israel has said it won't accept a permanent or expanded Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria, and it has staged several deadly air strikes this year against facilities used by Iranian military advisers and fighters and allied Shi'ite militias from Lebanon and Iraq.