Syrian deputy FM says pullout of Iran forces ‘not for discussion’ – report

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Wednesday that the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria was “not up for discussion,” according to Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV. “Whether Iranian forces or Hezbollah withdraw or stay in Syria is not up for discussion because it’s the [business] of the Syrian government,” Mekdad was quoted as saying. Washington has demanded that Iran, among other things, pull out of the Syrian conflict or face severe economic sanctions. Mekdad also said that that the Syrian army could head north or south after crushing militants in a string of enclaves around the capital. “After ending the direct terrorist danger to Damascus, the door is open to heading north or south,” the official said.