Iran threatens US with expulsion from Iraq and Syria
The United States will be expelled from Iraq and Syria, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, renewing Iran’s demand for US troops to be withdrawn from the Middle East.
Khamenei’s remarks came during a virtual meeting via video teleconference on Sunday with a group of students and the members of student political, scientific, and cultural associations in Tehran.
Iran almost got into a full-blown conflict with the United States when a US drone strike killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a missile barrage against a US base in Iraq days later.
Khamenei said Americans’ actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria had led to them being hated. "Other than the nations, many of the leaders of the states that cooperate with America privately reveal their hatred and distrust of the United States," he said.
“The Americans won’t stay in Iraq and Syria and will be expelled,” Khamenei said.
Last month, US President Donald Trump said he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, but said later he was not changing the military’s rules of engagement.
After Trump’s statement, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said that the Islamic Republic would destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf. - Reuters, Radio Farda