Israel signals free hand in Syria as US, Russia expand truce

The Russian and Turkish presidents had also met before, while Iran and Israel are getting ready for the next phase.The aim of the negotiations, led by the Russians and the United Nations envoy, is to end direct confrontations between different factions.

A US State Department official said Russian Federation had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance" from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war. It admits the failure of the military solution, but the most unsafe thing about it is that it accepts the temporary geographic distribution of Syria between four foreign parties which are Russian Federation, the US, Iran and Turkey. All these reflect the arrangements for the near future in order to impose a fait accompli despite the global agreement which is expected later.

According to reports, the deal includes Iranian proxies fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, which would be required to leave the border area and eventually Syria. But he stressed that Israel is not a party to the agreement and will defend its interests.

Israel has long complained about the involvement of archenemy Iran, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, in the Syria war.

Yet, even if major forces agree upon suspending fights, we should be anxious about the new stage indicators of regional confrontations inside and outside Syria. Pictures show how the IRGC built a series of military bases to become support and funding centers and to represent an Iranian highway between Iraq and Lebanon. This is why recent Israeli threats have been directed against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. Moreover, previous Israeli wars against Hezbollah used to be based on the accumulation of weapons at Hezbollah's disposal as well as its deployment, and they used to happen once every 10 years.

In televised remarks opening Israel's weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not speak about the new US-Russian arrangement for Syria. Israel, Turkey and Iraq all have borders with Syria and are directly involved in the details of the solution and the forces from local and foreign militias that would control the lands.

The reports on the new ceasefire agreement came after the BBC published satellite photos on Friday said to show the construction of a permanent Iranian military base in Syria. If it hadn't been for Russia's air support, Iran's militias would not have expanded and would not have even survived defeat.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.

  • Rogelio Becker