Israel rejects Russian offer to keep Iran 100 km from the Golan border

Israel rebuffed a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria at least 100 kilometers from the Golan Heights ceasefire line, an Israeli official said on Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the issue came up during a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a visiting Russian delegation led by Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

The official said that Netanyahu told Lavrov “we will not allow the Iranians to establish themselves even 100 kilometers from the border.”

The official said that Israel prefers to act now rather than wait until Iran has “hundreds and thousands of missiles” in Syria, and that the government will not allow Iran “to turn Syria into another Lebanon.”

Israel rejects Russian offer to keep Iran 100 km from the Golan border.jpg

During the two-hour meeting, the parties discussed in great detail the Iranian presence and Iranian activity in Syria, illustrated by maps and intelligence assessments, the official said.

“The removal of Iran must include the removal of long-range weapons, halting the production of precision weapons as well as the air defenses that protect the missiles, and the closure of border crossing that permit smuggling of this weaponry to Lebanon and to Syria,” said the official. “Russia has a certain ability to prevent this. They are a significant factor in Syria.”

Israel rejects Russian offer to keep Iran 100 km from the Golan border (2).jpeg

Prior to the meeting, Netanyahu said that “Israel insists that the [1974] Separation of Forces Agreement between it and Syria be honored as it was in the decades before the outbreak of civil war in Syria, and that Israel will continue to act against any attempt by Iran and its proxies to establish a military presence in Syria.”

He also praised the strong position expressed yesterday by President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo against the aggression of the regime in Iran. The prime minister said that “Over the years, this regime has been spoiled by the major powers and it is good to see that the U.S. is changing this unacceptable equation.”

Yesterday, Syrian media reported an alleged Israeli airstrike on a ‘Research Center’ in Masyaf town in Hama, in unusual pre-nighttime raid.

The Syrian opposition said that Iranian IRGC and Hezbollah terrorists were eliminated in the strike.

According to reports, the Syrian ‘research’ facility developed short range surface-to-surface missiles.