Netanyahu: Israel Opposes US-Russian Ceasefire Deal In Syria

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The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is opposed to the recently agreed US-Russian ceasefire deal in Southern Syria.

After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, Netanyahu told reporters that Tel Aviv totally opposes the truce agreement in southern Syria, which he alleges will consolidate Iran’s presence in the Arab country.

Netanyahu said the agreement perpetuates Iranian plans to set up a disruptive long-term presence on Israel’s northern border, something he has repeatedly vowed that the Jewish state will not tolerate.

Press TV reports:

A top Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that Tehran was interested in deploying extensive military forces including the establishment of an airbase for Iranian aircraft and a naval base in Syria besides sending advisers to the Arab country.

The Israeli premier also discussed the truce deal with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone on Sunday night.

On July 7, Russia, the US and Jordan agreed to back a ceasefire in southwestern Syria and to establish a de-escalation zone covering the provinces of Dara’a, Suwayda and Quneitra, in an area bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The trilateral agreement on the cessation of hostilities was announced after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in the German city of Hamburg.

Netanyahu’s remarks revealed a major disagreement between Tel Aviv and the two great powers that had until now been kept under wraps and expressed only through quiet diplomatic channels.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says Tel Aviv and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri militant groups wreaking havoc in the country.

Israel regularly hits positions held by the Syrian army in the Golan Heights, describing the attacks as retaliatory. Damascus says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.

On several occasions, the Syrian army has confiscated Israeli-made arms and military equipment from terrorists fighting government forces. There are also reports that Israel has been providing medical treatment to the extremists wounded in Syria.

Last month, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed concerns about a spike in contacts between Israeli armed forces and Syria militants in recent months, saying it could lead to escalation and cause harm to UN observers deployed to the Golan Heights.


Niamh Harris
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