A Syrian human rights watchdog has reported that Iranian and Hezbollah forces will soon pull out of two Syrian governorates bordering with Israel.

The border between Syria and the Israeli Golan Heights

The border between Syria and the Israeli Golan Heights Photo credit: Flash 90

A Syrian human rights organization said Thursday forces of Iran and Hezbollah are preparing to pull out of southern Syria.

The London-based watchdog said the forces will soon be leaving the governorates of Daraa and Quneitra, which are adjacent to the border with Israel. However, a senior Syrian official has vehemently denied this report.

In an interview published this morning by the Russian news agency RT, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad rejected Israel’s claims of an expansive Iranian military presence in his country. “Iran is assisting us, but we have no Iranian forces,” he said. “We never did. That would be impossible to hide.”

“A few weeks ago they (Israel) said they had attacked Iranian bases,” Assad added, “but in fact there were dozens of Syrian soldiers killed or injured – and not one Iranian. How can they say that? It’s a lie.”