Israel signals free hand in Syria as US, Russia expand truce

Marsha Scott
November 15, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has put the United States and Russian Federation on notice that Israel will continue to take military action across the frontier in Syria, even as the two powers try to build up a ceasefire there.

Meanwhile, a a delegation from the US National Security Council was reported to have arrived in Israel for talks with security heads about the ceasefire agreement, Israeli media outlets reported.

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.

A U.S. -Russian statement Saturday affirmed an understanding calling for "the reduction and ultimate elimination" of foreign fighters.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the global community.

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

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As the Russian-Iranian strategic partnership has deepened over the a year ago, Lavrov has sought to play down the potential for a wider regional war arising from Tehran's role in Syria.

The prime minister also said that Israel has offered humanitarian assistance to natural disaster victims in Iran through the Red Cross.

The move, according to one Israeli official briefed on the arrangement, is meant to keep rival factions inside Syria away from each other, but it would effectively keep Iranian-linked forces at various distances from the Israel-held Golan as well. In the case, widely known in Israel as "the meals-ordering affair", Sara Netanyahu and Ezra Saidoff, deputy director of the Prime Minister's Office, allegedly created a false impression between 2010 and 2013 that no cook was employed in the office prime minister's residence, while in fact there were several chefs, according to the ministry.

But, according to Reuters, Israel signaled on Sunday that it would continue to attack inside Syrian territory to block Iranian satellite forces at its door, no matter what the super powers are ready to sacrifice to reach a ceasefire in southern Syria.

On Saturday the Israeli military said it shot down a Syrian drone carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the Golan Heights. Israel has said it will not accept a permanent military presence by Iran and its Shiite allies in Syria, especially near the Israeli border.

Repeating Israel's warnings to Iran and Hezbollah, Lieberman said: "We will not allow the Shi'ite axis to establish Syria as its forefront base".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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