Syrian MP Khaled Abboud said that the Russians "do not have the Iranians and the Syrians in their pocket" and that they cannot speak on their behalf when they talk with the Israelis. Speaking on the Syrian Al-Ikhbariya TV on July 15, he also denied reports that the Iranian army had a presence in southern Syria.
Khaled Abboud: "[The Russians] do not have the Iranians and the Syrians in their pocket, and so they cannot speak on behalf of the Iranians and the Syrians, when they talk with the Israelis. If, God forbid, they ever have the Iranians and Syrians in their pocket, they will not have to take them into consideration...
"Today, the Russians cannot act alone, without taking the Iranians and the Syrians into account. Look at southern [Syria]. There was talk about the Iranian army being there. Let's hear it from the people of the south: Have they seen a single Iranian soldier?"