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Iran says US troops in Syria ’cause of instability’ from the start

Mahmoud Alavi is an Iranian cleric, politician and the minister of intelligence in Hassan Rouhani's government. (Mostafameraji/Wikimedia Commons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the presence of U.S. troops in Syria has been “illogical and a source of tension” from the very start, in its first official reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

Trump announced last week that the United States was withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, saying they have succeeded in their mission to defeat the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

France, Britain, and Germany, key members of the anti-IS coalition, reacted to the announcement with skepticism, saying that much remained to be done in Syria.

“From the very start, the entry and presence of American forces in the region has been a mistake, illogical and a source of tension, and a main cause of instability and insecurity,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying on December 22.

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Iran has been a key supporter of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing him with military and financial support.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has reportedly deployed military advisers and thousands of militia fighters in Syria.