Israel Seeks to Break the Iranian-Russian Alliance in Syria

Glen Norman
June 4, 2018

"As we have declared earlier, Iranian advisers have no presence in southern Syria", he said.

Israel must demand a full accounting of the Iranian forces in Syria and that any agreements made on the south be based on verification. Those areas include eastern neighbourhoods of the northern city of Aleppo, the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and parts of Idlib and Hama provinces to the west.

Iranian forces and those of its proxy, Hezbollah, are preparing to leave southern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

In a press conference held in the capital Damascus, al-Muallem said that the American troops should withdraw from al-Tanaf base on the Syrian-Jordanian border.

But Director of Joint Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said: "Any interested party in Syria should understand that attacking U.S. forces or our coalition partners will be a bad policy".

On Friday a leading Arab newspaper is reporting that Israel and Russian Federation reached an agreement this week for just that.

She added that the "US did not want to get involved in Syria's civil war". On May 10, a day after Trump announced the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, Iran and Israel exchanged strikes, with Israel hitting major Iranian infrastructure inside Syria. The U.S. has military advisers based in Tanf.

Assad's threat to use force against US allies in Syria and about 2,000 American troops providing them with air support and training prompted a warning from the Pentagon.

Russian Federation has previously granted Israel freedom to carry out air strikes in Syria, although recently Moscow has expressed public disquiet about strikes in which Syrian regime and allied troops were killed.

The Liberman-Shoigu meeting came on the heels of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's demand Wednesday that all foreign forces - including those from Iran, Turkey and the U.S. - leave southwestern Syria as soon as possible, as well as his remarks Monday at a press conference in Moscow that only the Syrian regime should field military forces in the country's southern border areas.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told Shargh daily in interview published Saturday that the emergence of Takfiri terrorism and bloodshed in the Middle East gave Israel "incredible golden years of security".

The southwest, near the borders with Jordan and Israel, remains one of the big chunks of Syria still outside the control of the state, which has recovered swathes of the country with the help of Russian jets and Iran-backed militias.

On Friday, the newspaper reported Israel and Russian Federation had reached an agreement green-lighting Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, as well as the withdrawal of Tehran-backed troops from Syria's border with Israel.

The official also denied that any Iranian forces were present in the area.

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