US security officials arrive in Israel to discuss Syria border deal

The agreement, announced in a joint US-Russian statement Saturday, calls for “the reduction and ultimate elimination” of foreign fighters from southern Syria, including Iranian troops and proxies.

By JTA
November 15, 2017 08:52
1 minute read.
Israeli soldiers stand atop tanks overlooking the border between Israel and Syria

Israeli soldiers stand atop tanks overlooking the border between Israel and Syria. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

US National Security Council officials arrived in Israel for talks with their Israeli counterparts.

Representatives of other security agencies are also participating Tuesday in the discussions, which are focused on the recent US-Russia cease-fire agreement for Syria as well as on Iran.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The agreement, announced in a joint US-Russian statement Saturday, calls for “the reduction and ultimate elimination” of foreign fighters from southern Syria, including Iranian troops and proxies. However, it does not set a timetable.

According to an Israeli official, militias would be allowed to maintain positions as close as 3 to 4 miles to some parts of the border while being pushed up to around 19 miles away in others, Reuters reported Monday.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that the agreement does not include a Russian commitment to ensure Iran-linked militias are pulled out of the country. Lavrov said Iran’s presence in Syria is “legitimate,” according to the Interfax news agency.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel will not be bound by the deal.

“I have clarified to our friends in Washington and our friends in Moscow that we will operate in Syria, including southern Syria, in accordance with our understanding and in accordance with our security needs,” Netanyahu said, describing Israel’s security policy as “the right combination of firmness and responsibility.”

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


On Friday, a Western security official told the BBC that Iran was setting up a permanent base on a site used by the Syrian army near el-Kiswah, 8 miles south of Damascus and 30 miles from the Israeli border.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Eisenkot reportedly flew secretly to Brussels on Thursday to meet with Gen. Curtiss Scaparrotti, head of the US Army’s European Command, and discuss Iranian moves in Syria.

Israel has lobbied against allowing Iran to maintain any presence in Syria. In September, Haaretz reported that Israel asked the United States and Russia to keep Iran and its proxies at least 30 miles away from the border, but the Russians agreed to only 3 miles.

Netanyahu has warned that Iran plans to create a permanent presence in the country, including with naval and air force bases, and that Israel will not allow it to happen.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

netanyahu liberman jerusalem attack
October 18, 2018
In responding to the Gaza predicament, who will inspire Netanyahu?

By HERB KEINON