Why Israel Is Concerned about American-Russian Understandings on Syria

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - The agreement reached between U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin about establishing a de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria was accepted with mixed feelings in Israel because it tacitly gave legitimacy to the prolonged presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces throughout Syria. Israel is concerned about Iran's ongoing effort, together with its proxy Hizbullah, to turn the Syrian Golan Heights into a base to launch terror activities against Israel. Iran's presence in Syria also allows for the acceleration of the delivery of military equipment to Hizbullah through Syria. Iran wants to turn Syria into an Iranian military base, including establishing a naval base. It may move ground forces, missiles, and even aircraft to Syria, bringing Iranian forces to Israel's doorstep. An Iranian stronghold in Syria could also threaten Jordan. The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

2017-08-01 00:00:00

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