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Syrian official rejects US demand for Iranian, Hezbollah troop withdrawal

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Syria has dismissed American calls for the withdrawal of Iranian troops and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah from the war-torn country.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told Russia's Sputnik news agency "this topic is not even on the agenda of discussion, since it concerns the sovereignty of Syria."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a list of demands this week for a new nuclear deal with Iran, including the pullout of its forces from Syria, where they have provided crucial support to President Bashar Assad's government. Russia is also a key ally of Assad, and has been waging an air campaign in Syria since 2015.

Mikdad said in Wednesday's remarks that Syria "highly appreciates" Russia's military support as well as advisers from Iran and Hezbollah.