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Iran supreme leader’s aide says US should leave Syria, defends Tehran’s presence

Iran’s military presence in Syria is legitimate and based on the invitation of Damascus, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday, calling on US forces to leave the country. Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iran’s supreme leader, was reacting to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said on Wednesday that Iran needed to withdraw its military from Syria, Reuters said. “Iran’s military presence in Syria was based on the invitation of the Syrian government,” according to Velayati. “Those should leave Syria who are there without the permission of the Syrian legal government,” Velayati was quoted as saying by ISNA.