Israel, Iran Reach Back-Channel Understandings on Syria Operation

Israel, Iran Reach Back-Channel Understandings on Syria Operation

Russian Federation has agreed to Israeli demands that Iranian-backed militias be held back from the border with the occupied Golan Heights, according to Israeli television.

Jordan said on Monday it was discussing south Syria with Washington and Moscow, and all three agreed on the need to preserve the ceasefire, which reduced violence since they brokered it past year.

Sources said the two national security advisers will make changes to the agreement that reflect the "new reality" of the USA no longer being party to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

Jordan also made it clear that military maneuvers ‎involving Iranian-backed forces could trigger a ‎military confrontation between Iran and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to meet with European leaders to discuss Iran next week.

After the leaflets were dropped on Friday, the US State Department warned the Syrian government that it would take "firm and appropriate" measures if Syria violates the ceasefire.

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Moscow, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ally, brokered a string of de-escalation zones for insurgent enclaves a year ago, though fighting raged on in some. In this endeavour it has formidable obstacles to overcome: "the regime is more dependent than ever on Iran, which Israel regards as its most implacable state foe; other enemies, particularly Hizbollah and Iran-backed Shiite militias, are entrenched in Syria with Russia's blessing; and the USA, notwithstanding the Trump administration's strident rhetoric, has done little to reverse Iran's gains", reads a February report from the International Crisis Group.

The report said Israel set the condition that the Russians would keep the Iranians and Hezbollah away from the border with Israel, in exchange for the return of Syrian government forces to the southern region of the country.

Jordanian officials served as mediator, shuttling messages between the two rooms, according to the report.

According to Elaph, Iran may have been willing to negotiate with Israel this weekend as a result of losses Tehran has sustained in recent Israeli attacks in Syria.

Those strikes followed a barrage of some 32 rockets that were fired by Iranian forces in Syria towards Israel's part of the Golan Heights.

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