Russia demands Iran militias leave positions in Syria amid Israeli strikes: report
Russia has demanded that Iranian militias abandon military positions near the Syrian cities of Hama and Tartus to avoid Israeli airstrikes, according to a source cited by Asharq Al-Awsat.
The source, said to be close to the Syrian regime, told the outlet that the demand was made on Wednesday during a meeting between three Russian officials and their Iranian counterparts at the Hama military airport.
“Russian officers informed the Iranian side of the need to evacuate Iranian military headquarters near the site of Regiment 49, which belongs to the Syrian regime forces,” the source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The Russian officers also demanded that the Iranians evacuate a second Iranian military site in the Hamidiya area, south of Tartus governorate on the Syrian coast,” the unnamed source added.
Israel has staged numerous strikes in Syria in recent years, mainly targeting alleged weapons convoys or stores belonging to allied fighters from Iran.
In June, Syria blamed Israel for aerial attacks on its main international airport in Damascus that put the site out of commission for several weeks.
Israeli defence officials say the civilian airport has been used regularly by Iran to transport weapons and militias.