Iranian Presence in Syria Is Legitimate, Russia Says Amid Israeli Concerns

Iranian Presence in Syria Is Legitimate, Russia Says Amid Israeli Concerns

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reasserted Jerusalem's right to act militarily in Syria "in accordance with [the country's security] needs", a day after news broke of a ceasefire deal that will reportedly allow Iranian-backed forces to operate within close proximity of the northern border.

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

The Israel Television News Company reported Sunday night that IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot paid a secret visit secretly to the Commander of the European Command (UCO) of the US Army, General Curtis Scaparrotti last Thursday in Brussels, where Eizenkot and three top-ranking IDF officers debated Israel's responses to the Iranian advances in the Middle East, emphasis on Syria.

Prosecutors involved with the bribery and money laundering case are now working out the details to an indictment for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a wealthy businessman whose collaborators have been tied to the notorious Panama Papers that reveal how the rich hide assets from tax collectors, cited by Haaretz.

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The agreement, announced in a joint US-Russian statement Saturday, affirms a call for "the reduction, and ultimate elimination" of foreign fighters from southern Syria. Israel saw that the trio-agreement didn't respond to the Israeli demand to drive out Iranians and their militias from the border with Israel at Golan. The distance would range from as little as 5-7 kilometers (3-4 miles) to around 30 kilometers (18 miles), depending on current rebel positions in the Syrian controlled area of the Golan Heights, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Under the terms of a memorandum signed in Jordan last week between the USA and Russian Federation, which extends an earlier ceasefire agreed in Syria in July, all foreign forces in Syria are meant to be removed.

Over the weekend IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot made an undeclared trip to Brussels to speak with the top United States general in Europe.

These included, the official continued, "Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias like Lebanese Hezbollah...and other extremist groups from the southwest area" that have "used the Syrian conflict over the last five years to increase their presence in this part of Syria, which has undermined the ceasefire and poses a threat to Jordan and Israel".

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