Russia: Only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border

30 May, 2018, 21:27 | Author: Carlos George
  • Israel - Iran should be denied any military presence in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that all non-Syrian forces should withdraw from Syria's southern border with Israel as soon as possible, the TASS news agency reported on Wednesday.

Israel is vehemently opposed to Iran maintaining a military presence in Syria, however.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on May 27, 2018.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the United States for its pledge to impose "the strongest sanctions in history" on Iran, unless the regime changes its ways, while calling on other countries to follow Washington's lead.

He said he might also meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The US warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" in response to any violations of that ceasefire.

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In addition to violence inside Syria, Daraa's location on the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights makes any operation there highly sensitive. Last year, with the help of Russian Federation and Iran, the Syrian army had initiated an offensive by the eastern Ghouta enclave, which they successfully seized in April.

Intensive air strikes in Syria this month were prompted by what Tel Aviv said was Iranian fire from the area, which also borders Jordan.

Nauert's comments came just hours after leaflets were dropped over towns and villages in northwest Deraa calling on militants to lay down their arms and surrender their positions to the Syrian Army, ahead of a largescale upcoming offensive. The raids were in retaliation to a barrage of 32 rockets fired by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps al-Quds Force towards the Israeli part of the Golan Heights.

The Syrian army has completed preparations for an imminent offensive against rebel-held areas in southwestern Syria, a non-Syrian commander in a military alliance that backs Damascus said Tuesday, raising the prospect of a major new escalation.

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

Joshua S. Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed for the Hill on April 10 that any final settlement must entail the complete removal of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces in all of Syria.

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