US President Donald Trump's national security adviser warned Wednesday that Washington will respond "very strongly" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons in an offensive to retake Idlib province.
"Just to be clear, regime change in Iran is not American policy. But what we want is massive change in the regime's behavior," he said.
In an interview US national security adviser John Bolton has claimed that Russia was "stuck" and looking for others to fund Syria's post-war reconstruction, which, according to the adviser, gives Washington an opportunity to press Iranian forces to quit the war-torn country.
"The Russians are stuck there at the moment," Bolton told Reuters during an interview while on a visit to Israel.
"We're going see what we and others can agree in terms of resolving the conflict in Syria. But the one prerequisite there is the withdrawal of all Iranian forces back to Iran," National Security Advisor said during the interview.
Bolton is going to meet his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva on Thursday.
A week earlier, John Bolton claimed in an interview with ABC that Russia, Israel and the United States all want Iranian-backed forces removed from Syria. The Kremlin hasn't yet confirmed this information.
Washington, as well as Israel, have been claiming that Iranian troops are present in Syria, however, Tehran has denied the claims, emphasizing that the country’s presence in the Arab Republic is entirely limited to military advisors.