Russia said to tell Iran to leave Syrian sites amid rise in apparent Israeli strikes

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Russia has demanded that Iran and its militias withdraw from positions across Syria, amid an apparent uptick in airstrikes attributed to Israel in recent weeks, according to a Friday report.

A-Sharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned daily published in London, cited Syrian officials as saying Russian officers called on their Iranian counterparts during a Wednesday meeting at the Hama Military Airport in central Syria, to leave several sites in the country.

The report said the three Russian officers demanded they evacuate the Iranian military headquarters in the western Hama province, which is situated next to the Syrian army’s Regiment 49 base.

““At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.” Daniel 11:40

The base is considered an important military site to Syria, as it is used to store missiles for the S-200 air defense system, as well as other Russian-made military equipment, the report said.

Another site the Russian officers demanded the Iranians evacuate was close to the coastal city of al-Hamidiyah, south of Tartus, the report said. In July, Syria accused Israel of targeting a site in the town, in a rare morning airstrike.

The report said the calls came as Russia was seeking to maintain stability in Syria, and to deprive Israel of targets to bomb in areas Russia sees as important. An airstrike attributed to Israel last month hit several Iranian sites close to Russia’s main naval base in Syria, at the port city of Tartus.

As a rule, Israel’s military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country in recent years. It says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanese Hezbollah.

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