zarif

FM: Iran opposed to US military presence in Syria

FNA- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that deployment of the US military forces in Syria would lead to the reinvigoration of extremist groups in the region.

“We respect the governments and don’t interfere in affairs related to their sovereignty as far as they don’t harm the Islamic Republic of Iran’s security,” Zarif said on Sunday.

“Regardless of the views of our friends in Damascus, we believe that presence of the US forces in Syria will exacerbate the crisis in the country,” he added.

Zarif reminded of the formation of the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq after the US military invasion of the country in 2003, and said, “Principally, formation of extremist groups in our region has been a response to the presence of foreign forces.”

American officials said on Thursday that the US is sending an additional 400 troops to Syria to help prepare for what they call as the looming fight for Raqqa, the ISIL’s self-proclaimed capital.

The increase, which includes a team of Army Rangers and a Marine artillery unit that have already arrived in Syria, represents a near-doubling of the number of American troops there.

The US military has declined to say how many troops it has deployed in Syria. The formal troop cap is 503, but commanders have the authority to temporarily exceed that limit.

The Rangers’ presence became apparent last weekend when they were seen driving around the Northern Syrian town of Manbij in Stryker vehicles and armored Humvees. The US media had earlier reported the deployment of the Marine artillery battery.

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