Syria's Assad says Damascus almost won 7-year-war

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Thursday to recover the country's territory held by USA troops, threatening to expel American forces.

"This card is the SDF now", the dictator said, referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, which currently controls about a third of Syria's territory.

Nasr Hariri of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) spoke in the European Union political hub Brussels as Assad declared separately that USA forces should leave Syria because people in the Middle East were exhausted of foreign invasions. If not, we're going to resort to ... liberating those areas by force.

"We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces, and fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership", he said.

In response to claims that Israel only targets Iranian forces in Syria, Assad said that there are no Iranian troops in Syria but "we have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian army as a help they (Iranians) don't have troops". If we abandon the Kurds we will look like very unreliable allies and will be effectively stabbing them in the back after they were one of our most dependable and fierce partners in the war against ISIS. "It is impossible for us to leave any area outside of government control", he said.

Trump has also blamed his predecessor for supporting Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Assad after a 2011 uprising, saying in 2015 that "Assad may be bad, but we have absolutely no idea who these people are that we're arming".

Forces loyal to Assad, who is backed by Russian Federation and Iran, and the Syrian Kurds have clashed sporadically over the eastern oil province of Deir el-Zour.

It was not the first time that Assad has threatened to attack USA troops, but it was his most explicit expression yet of his determination to rid Syria of American forces.

In April, U.S. President Donald Trump said he wanted to pull out American troops from Syria.

He said it was down to "the wisdom of the Russian leadership" that a confrontation did not happen.

Air strikes by United States ally Israel against Iranian-backed forces have raised fears the devastating war could escalate further.

According to the independent Arabic news website Elaph, Syrian ‎President Bashar Assad's military is scheduled to ‎carry out large operations in Daraa and Quneitra, in ‎the Syrian Golan Heights, to counter ‎rebel forces in the area.‎.

Assad denied that Tehran had any lively troops in Syria and claimed the one Iranians on the Syrian battleground have been navy advisers.

Behind Assad's evasions and bluster lies the unlovely truth that Russian and Iranian intervention appears to have secured his position in Damascus after years of bloody civil war.

Also Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Moscow for talks focusing on Syria. In this context, a very senior political source says: "Assad was and remains a monster who massacred his people, but this is a matter for the worldwide community and the Arab countries - we can't fix the world; Israel needs to take care of its own security".

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