Head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad has warned Washington of repeating the ‘Iraq-style scenario’ through a ‘military resistance’ against the US army in the northeast of Syria.
Assad told Russian channel Rossiya-24 and Sputnik in an interview Thursday that, "there is no occupying force that can exist in a certain place without having agents on the ground."
The immediate and most effective way for Syrians is to unite to make the US leave the Syrian territories, he stressed.
"The Americans will leave and won't be able to stay here for oil or for anything else," he continued.
Assad said the US military presence in Syria would generate a resistance until its withdrawal from the country, adding: "We certainly do not believe that any confrontation between the US and Russia will occur on Syrian territory.”
“America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies... Syria will not be an exception," the Assad noted.
Since August 2014, the US has been leading the International military intervention against ISIS.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated Thursday that Washington will maintain around 600 troops in Syria despite US President Donald Trump's desire to end US involvement in what he calls "endless wars".
"We're still moving troops out of northeastern Syria," the US defense secretary said. "We're going to have about 500 to 600-ish troops there, at the end of the day," he added.
Asked if that figure included the approximately 200 troops deployed to the al-Tanf base near the southeastern borders with Jordan and Iraq, Esper said that he was referring to northeastern Syria, where Trump has instructed the Pentagon to secure oil fields.
"Things change. Events on the ground change. We could have, for example, partners and allies from Europe joining us," he said. "If they join us on the ground it may allow us the ability to redeploy further US forces out there."