Syria Vows to Fight Rebels Despite US Warning

Syria Vows to Fight Rebels Despite US Warning

Syria Vows to Fight Rebels Despite US Warning

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Syrian troops should be positioned on the border with the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Mideast war.

The secret agreement was hashed out over the phone between the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman.

Russian Federation and Israel have come to an extraordinary agreement over the role of Iranian troops in Syria, paving the way for a regime offensive against one of the last remaining rebel-held areas in the south of the country.

On May 10, Israel launched a large-scale attack on what it said were Iranian-operated targets in Syria, raising fears of a major confrontation.

The announcement came as it was reported that Syrian government forces were being sent to the area in preparation for an offensive. The agreement was reportedly reached in December a year ago and seeks joint coordination to counter Iran's missile program and its proxy network across the Middle East.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in remarks to the Knesset on Monday that Iran should be pressured to leave Syria altogether.

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. The report said a Jordanian mediator carried messages between the sides.

Fearing that a fight between Israel and Iranian troops within Syria could undermine the position of fighters loyal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Moscow has called for all non-Syrian fighters to move away from Syria's border with Israel and Jordan.

One participant told Elaph that the Iranians "arrived at a quick agreement" that its forces would not intervene in fighting near the Golan Heights and the Israel-Jordan border, surprising the Israeli representatives.

Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Dr. Mostafa Moslehzadeh, reportedly received instructions from senior officials to conduct the negotiations with Israel in Amman.

Following Lavrov's statement, the Israeli PM asserted that there is no place for Iran's military forces in Syria.

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