U.S. security officials arrive in Israel to discuss Syria agreement

GPO  Channel 2 News

A US State Department official said Monday that Russian Federation had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance" from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war.

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. An Israeli official, briefed on the situation, said the move is aimed at keeping rival factions away from each other, but would also keep Iranian-linked forces away from the Israeli side of the disputed Golan Heights.

Under the terms of a memorandum signed in Jordan last week between the U.S. and Russian Federation, which extends an earlier ceasefire agreed in Syria in July, all foreign forces in Syria are meant to be removed. -Russian efforts to achieve a truce in Syria and what would be Iran's status in the war-torn country.

Tel Aviv revealed, Monday, a secret meeting held last week between IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and US General Curtis Scaparrotti in Brussels - it meant to discuss Iran's dominance in Syria and intention to impose its presence in the region via installing land and navy military bases.

In August, the Russian foreign minister responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's warning that Iran posed a grave military threat to the Jewish state by saying, "We do not have any information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel".

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The agreement affirms a call for "the reduction and ultimate elimination" of foreign fighters from southern Syria, including Iran and its proxies, according to a report in the Times of Israel.

"We are controlling our borders, we are protecting our country and we will continue to do so", Netanyahu said in a televised statement at the start of a meeting of his Likud party.

Speaking to a special session of the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu said he told Washington and Moscow that Israel will act according to its "security needs".

According to the official version of the agreement signed over the weekend, all foreign forces, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Iran-affiliated Shiite militias-most notably Hezbollah, must leave Syrian territory.

Israel has been carrying out occasional airstrikes against Syrian army position, usually in response to errant fire from the six-year war between the Bashar Assad regime and rebel groups.

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