On August 4, a spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahram Qassemi, said that Iran will decrease the number of its military advisers in Syria or even withdraw them all once the situation in the war torn country stabilizes.
“As soon as we see that Syria is close to certain stability, and the fight against terrorism is close to its end, and significant results have been reached, of course, we might decrease the presence of our consultants in Syria or even withdraw from the country,” Qassemi said in an interview with the Iranian Pupils Association News Agency (PANA), according to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
During the interview, Qassemi added that fighting terrorism is the main task of Iranian forces in Syria. The Iranian diplomat also noted that these forces will stay in the country as long as Damascus wants it to.
Three months ago, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Sputnik that the withdrawal of Iranian forces and Hezbollah from Syria is not on the agenda of the Damascus government. Mekdad also stressed that such decision is a pure Syrian matter.
Israel and the U.S. have pressuring Iran financially and militarily to withdraw its forces from Syria since the beginning of this year. However, Qassemi’s statement confirms that the Damascus government is still needs Iranian help to secure certain areas in the country.