On May 18, the Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said during a press conference in the Russian city of Sochi that all “foreign forces” should withdraw from Syria after the defeat of ISIS, including Iran and Hezbollah.
“The talk is about all the foreign military units in Syria, including the Americans, the Turks, Hezbollah, and of course the Iranians,” Lavrentiev said answering a question about what “foreign force” should withdraw from Syria, according to the Russian news outlet Sputnik.
Lavrentiev noted that the withdrawal of “foreign forces” don’t include Russia, as it has two permanent bases in Syria. The Russian president’s special envoy said that once the situation in Syria is stable again the Russian military units will remain inside these two bases only.
“On the other hand, except for our two bases, there is nothing, and with the stability of the situation [in Syria], we will of course still have these two bases,” Lavrentiev said.
A day earlier, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stressed during a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad that all “foreign forces” should withdraw from Syria after the recent achievements of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Despite Russia’s calls, local observers doubt that US, Turkey or Iran will withdraw from Syria anytime soon, as the three countries are using their presence in the war torn country as a bargaining chip each against other.