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

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.

The US warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" in response to any violations of that ceasefire. Israel has made it clear that it will not intervene in the battles in the tri-border area, as long as Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias are not involved.

Israel and Russian Federation have reached an unofficial agreement that Iranian and Hezbollah forces should be kept off from the border on the Golan Heights, Israel's Hadashot TV news reported on Monday.

According to the report, the understandings were ‎reached in a series of indirect meetings in Jordan, ‎where Iranian officials, including the envoy to ‎Jordan, met with top Jordanian officials, who in turn ‎met with senior Israeli security officials.‎.

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

Chagai Tzuriel, director general of the Israeli intelligence ministry, said he believed Russian Federation was growing frustrated with Iran's presence in Syria and was anxious that fighting between Israel and Iran would threaten Moscow's interests. One participant in the talks reportedly said that "the sides discussed this issue with the Israelis, and arrived at a quick agreement that even surprised the Israeli representatives". In short, the Iranian presence in Syria should be eliminated in its entirety.

Elaph sources said Iran understood that its heavy losses in Syria resulted from Israeli attacks in the country.

Israel's peace treaty with Jordan includes an Israeli umbrella of defense, which provides for Israeli military action should Jordan be threatened.

  • Rogelio Becker