Russia, Israel agree to drive off Iranian military from Syrian border

Southern Syria is of concern to the United States, which previous year brokered a "de-escalation" deal with Jordan and Russian Federation that has largely contained the war near the frontier with Israel. Israel has warned Iran of the possibility of conflict should Tehran send its troops and Hezbollah terrorists to southern Syria in order to participate in the fighting there.

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

A Syrian state-run newspaper says Damascus will keep fighting the country's rebels - or "terrorists" as the government calls opposition fighters - despite US warnings against a new offensive in southern Daraa province.

Russian Federation and Iran are close allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In this endeavour it has formidable obstacles to overcome: "the regime is more dependent than ever on Iran, which Israel regards as its most implacable state foe; other enemies, particularly Hizbollah and Iran-backed Shiite militias, are entrenched in Syria with Russia's blessing; and the US, notwithstanding the Trump administration's strident rhetoric, has done little to reverse Iran's gains", reads a February report from the International Crisis Group.

It was the first time since 1974 that there had been clashes over the Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, setting in motion a rush for mediation to prevent further outbreak.


For the negotiations, Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Mostafa Moslehzadeh, stayed in a hotel room with Iranian security personnel next door to a room of senior Israeli security officials, including the deputy head of Mossad, Elaph reported.

At the moment, the control of the border area close to Jordan and Israel is shared between Syrian government forces and different militant groups.

In recent days, Israel and Iran are said to have passed a large number of messages via Jordan regarding the situation in Syria.

Those strikes followed a barrage of some 32 rockets that were fired by Iranian forces in Syria towards Israel's part of the Golan Heights.


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