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Iran Says U.S. Troops In Syria 'Cause Of Instability' From The Start

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prays above the casket of Mohsen Hojaji, a young member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards who was beheaded in Syria by IS group fighters, during his funeral in Tehran in September 2017.

Iran's Foreign Ministry says the presence of U.S. troops in Syria has been "illogical and a source of tension" from the very start, in its first official reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

Trump announced last week that the United States was withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, saying they have succeeded in their mission to defeat the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

France, Britain, and Germany, key members of the anti-IS coalition, reacted to the announcement with skepticism, saying that much remained to be done in Syria.

"From the very start, the entry and presence of American forces in the region has been a mistake, illogical and a source of tension, and a main cause of instability and insecurity," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying on December 22.

Iran has been a key supporter of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing him with military and financial support.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has reportedly deployed military advisers and thousands of militia fighters in Syria.

Based on reporting by IRNA, Reuters, and AP