Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Russia: Only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border

Russia: Only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border

On Monday, Israeli media reported that Israel and Russian Federation reached an undisclosed agreement aiming to keep non-Syrian forces, including Iranian militias and Hezbollah, out of the southern Syria border region-a key Israeli demand. "The Syrian army will wage all the battles and has now become strong and capable", the commander said.

"So, they attacked those bases, and they destroyed a big part of our air defenses", he said, arguing that Israel continues to take advantage of that to this day.

The United States should learn the lesson of Iraq and leave Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has said, threatening to retake areas from its Kurdish allies.

The Douma attack triggered missile strikes on Syria by the United States, Britain and France which they said targeted Assad's chemical weapons program. "People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore", he said. "If not, we're going to liberating those areas by force", he said.

Iran has pledged that it would punish Israel for the deadly air raid. Prior to this, many times had Israel shown concern about Iran's expansion techniques using the seven-year conflict. In exchange, Israel agreed not to intervene in any attempt by the Syrian government to advance on rebel-held territory along the border. He said that point of view, according to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is the cause of all troubles in the Middle East is wrong. It has also sparked talk by analysts of a need for the two antagonists to come to a new understanding over the "rules of engagement" in their proxy conflict.

Sources said the two officials will be ratifying an existing agreement between Israel and the USA on how to deal with Iran.

Russian Federation has realized that it is outgunned in Syria and would never be able to realize its ambition to rely on Turkey and Iran to extend its control over that country. Last year, with the help of Russian Federation and Iran, the Syrian army had initiated an offensive by the eastern Ghouta enclave, which they successfully seized in April.

The Israeli government withdrew on Sunday the powers of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide on a war unilaterally and only in consultation with the defense minister.

Mr Barmin said that Russian Federation would have to "be creative to convince Iran that giving up on southern Syrian is not counter to Iran's grand interest there".

"We believe that there is absolutely no room for any Iranian military presence in any part of Syria", Netanyahu told senior officials from his Likud party, according to a statement from his office.

The southwest is of concern to the United States, which previous year brokered a "de-escalation" deal with Jordan and President Bashar al-Assad's Russian allies, which has largely contained the war near the frontier with Israel. Trump has also blamed his predecessor for supporting Syrian rebels trying to oust Assad after a 2011 uprising, saying in 2015 that "Assad may be bad, but we have absolutely no idea who these people are that we're arming".

Those deals have been referred to as "forced displacement" by human rights organisations. An FSA spokesperson in Quneitra province, west of Daraa, said his faction observed similar mobilizations near frontlines there.

And even if a deal is signed, an agreement to push Iranian forces and Hezbollah back from the border may not be enough for Israel in the long run.

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