Israel, Russia Reach 'Understanding' on Iranian Presence in Syria

Israel, Russia Reach 'Understanding' on Iranian Presence in Syria

Israel, Russia Reach 'Understanding' on Iranian Presence in Syria

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Syrian troops should be positioned on the border with the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Mideast war.

The Israeli and Russian defence ministers, Avigdor Lieberman and Sergei Shoigu, are due to meet on Thursday.

The United States, Russia, and Jordan agreed a year ago to include Daraa in a "de-escalation zone" and freeze the lines of conflict there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in remarks to the Knesset on Monday that Iran should be pressured to leave Syria altogether.

The announcement came as it was reported that Syrian government forces were being sent to the area in preparation for an offensive. "Russian Federation has given it room to act against Iran-linked military interests and appears to be more interested in balancing contending fighting coalitions than returning every last piece of territory to the Assad regime's control", the report continues. "We believe that there is no place for any Iranian military presence, anywhere in Syria". It stressed that the Syrian army was determined to retake all parts of Syria.

Israel has been pledging for months to prevent its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran is backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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Furthermore, they said that Israel made clear to the Iranians they should not become involved in fighting close to the Israel-Syria ceasefire lines in the Golan and the Israel-Jordan border.

Jordanian officials served as mediator, shuttling messages between the two rooms, according to the report.

The US' military presence in Syria has regularly been condemned by the Syrian government as a violation of the state's sovereignty, as US military personnel are operating in the Arab Republic without approval from Damascus or the UN.

Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Dr. Mostafa Moslehzadeh, reportedly received instructions from senior officials to conduct the negotiations with Israel in Amman.

The question of whether Iranian forces or Iranian-‎backed militias, including Hezbollah, would take ‎part in the operation sparked concern in both Jordan ‎and Israel.

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