SYRIA’S ASSAD SAYS ISRAEL, U.S. HINDER SETTLEMENT DEAL IN SOUTHERN SYRIA

Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, said in an interview, aired late Wednesday, that, Israel is hindering the reach of a settlement for the situation in southern Syria.In an interview with the Iranian Al-Alam TV, Assad said that, so far there are no act...

Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, said in an interview, aired late Wednesday, that, Israel is hindering the reach of a settlement for the situation in southern Syria.

In an interview with the Iranian Al-Alam TV, Assad said that, so far there are no actual results of the efforts exerted, to reach a deal with the rebels, due to the U.S.-Israeli pressure on the militant groups.

He said that there was a chance for reconciliation, but the "Americans and Israelis prevented it."

The rebel-held areas in the southern provinces of Daraa and Qunaitera will be facing two options: either a settlement, based on an agreement with the armed groups, or a military showdown, the Syrian president said.

Earlier reports said, the Israelis want the withdrawal of Iranian forces from southern Syria, to accept the agreement, which will see the return of the Syrian army to the rebel-held areas in Daraa, near Jordan, and Qunaitera, on the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

But Assad made it clear that the presence of the Iranian military experts and forces are not for negotiation. He said, the Iranian-Syrian relations are strategic and not subject to any settlement in the south, adding that, the Israelis are trying to provoke and embarrass Iran through their demands.

Assad's remarks came as a Russian-mediated agreement was said to have been discussed with Israel and the United States, to settle the situation in southern Syria, without battles, akin to what happened in other areas in the war-torn country.

The agreement was about evacuating the rebels, who refuse to reconcile with the government, to rebel-held areas in northern Syria, while the militants, who want to stay, must hand over their weapons and embark on a reconciliation process with the government

Source: NAM News Network