Iranian envoy: Our forces will leave Syria when terror is defeated

Hossein Jaberi Ansari, top Iranian representative at Syria peace conference in Sochi, Russia, tells reporters Iranian forces are in Syria at the request of the Syrian government • PM Netanyahu: Israel concerned by Iran’s presence in neighboring Syria.

Iranian forces are in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and will leave once the “battle against terror” is won, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iran’s senior representative at the peace conference on Syria in Sochi, Russia, told reporters on Tuesday, speaking on the sidelines of the conference.

Iran has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad in the nearly seven-year war against rebel forces and Islamic State terrorists in the country, sending weapons and soldiers to Syria.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concerns about any expansion of Iran’s military foothold in Syria.

Israel fears Iran could be left with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighboring Lebanon by Hezbollah, which has an extensive missile arsenal.

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