(Zaman Al Wasl)- Syrian Air Forces banned the Iranian forces and allied Shiite militias from using its facilities and hangars in most of its military airbases, such a move followed a series of Israeli strikes in the last few weeks amid rising tensions between Iran and Israel, well-informed source told Zaman al-Wasl.
The source that works in the regime's Air Force said the unprecedented decision had been affected by the Russian President Vladimir Putin who met Bashar Assad on Thursday in the Russian resort city of Sochi. Then, Putin stressed that foreign forces should leave the war-weary country for rendering success to the political process.
M. General Ahmed Balloul, Head of Assad's air force said the use of airports' hangars is restricted to the Syrian army personnel.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi asserted that Iran would keep its military forces in Syria at the request of the Syrian regime.
“Nobody can force Iran to do anything; Iran has its own independent policies,” the spokesman asserted, in response to a question about reports that Russia wanted Iran to withdraw forces from Syria, according to Anadolu Agency.
“Those who entered Syria without the permission of the Syrian government are the ones that must leave the country,” the spokesman said.
About 40 Iranians, including senior army officers, killed in Israel’s attacks in April and May that targeted T4 airport, Dabaa airport in Homs province and the Brigade 47 and Hama military airport in Hama province.
Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last month that Tel Aviv will strike Tehran if attacked by archenemy Iran, escalating an already tense war of words between the two adversaries, according to AP.
Tehran has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to back Assad's forces in the country's seven-year civil war.
Zaman Al Wasl