Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Israel Rejects Cease-fire Deal Between U.S. And Russia In South Syria

One month after the WSJ reported that Israel had been secretly funding the Syrian rebel oppositionto Assad's regime for years in hopes of keeping the Syrian political situation unstable and preventing the Syrian - and Iranian - regime's military from becoming a substantial threat, overnight Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached "because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country."
Quoted by Haaretz, a senior Israeli official said Israel "is aware of Iranian intentions to substantially expand its presence in Syria", and added that Iran is not only interested in sending advisers to Syria but also in dispatching extensive military forces including the establishment of an airbase for Iranian aircraft and a naval base. "This already changes the picture in the region from what it has been up to now," the official said.
Which considering that most if not all of Syria's victories in the ongoing parallel proxy wars with both ISIS and the various "moderate" and not so "moderate" rebel groups were courtesy of Iran and specifically the IRGC, is to be expected. Still, by openly voicing his opposition to one of the most significant moves the United States and Russia have made in Syria in recent months, Netanyahu made public a major disagreement between Israel and the two great powers that had until now been kept under wraps and expressed only through quiet diplomatic channels. Netanyahu said he had discussed the cease-fire deal with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone Sunday night.
As a reminder, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin agreed on the cease-fire on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg last week. In a tweet published shortly after the truce came into effect last week, Trump tweeted: "We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!" 

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