Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Iranian and Hezbollah forces will not withdraw from Syria until the country is “liberated” and its “territorial integrity is restored”, Russia’s RIA news agency reported on Wednesday.
Iran-backed forces such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a close political ally of Berri, have been key allies alongside Russia in supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s war effort.
RIA interviewed Berri in Beirut.
Both the United States and Israel
have demanded that Iran
should entirely withdraw from Syria
, and Israel
has also demanded that Hezbollah
should pull out.Assad has recovered swathes of Syria
from rebels seeking to oust him, but large parts of the country remain out of his hands.Differences between his allies Iran
have grown more apparent of late as Israel
to make sure Tehran
and its allies do not entrench their military sway in the country.Israel
has carried out repeated air strikes in Syria
against targets connected to Iran
, which it wants to keep away from its border.Lebanon
is a recipient of U.S. military aid and follows a policy of disassociation from foreign conflicts.