Withdrawal from Syria sign of US defeat in region: Iranian cleric

Tasnim – Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami said the US administration’s recent decision to withdraw all its forces from Syria is a clear manifestation of Washington’s defeat in the Middle East region.

“Despite all the sidelines and what happens behind the scenes, there is no doubt that this (withdrawal from Syria) is a failure of the US in the region,” Khatami said, addressing a gathering of worshipers in Tehran on Friday.

They have also accepted their defeat, the cleric said, adding that the resignation of US Defense Secretary (Jim Mattis) proves this.

Those who used to call on Bashar al-Assad to step down, now, clearly state that they have retreated from this position, he noted.

In a video posted on Twitter last week, Trump said he has begun what will be a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria, declaring they have succeeded in their mission to defeat Daesh and were no longer needed in the country.

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The strikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.

Syria has on several occasions written to the UN, complaining that the US was flagrantly violating its sovereignty. The US supports militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad and has repeatedly attacked Syrian army positions.