Israel Tells U.S. It Opposes Russia Policing Safe Zones in Southern Syria

(Ha'aretz) Barak Ravid - In talks with the U.S. on the establishment of de-escalation zones, known as safe zones, in southern Syria near the Israeli and Jordanian borders as part of an effort to end Syria's civil war, Israel told Brett McGurk, special American envoy for the global coalition to counter Islamic State, that it opposes having Russian forces supervise these zones, senior Israeli officials said. Israel wants talks on de-escalation zones along the Israeli and Jordanian borders to be completely separate from the current negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan, in which Iran and Turkey are heavily involved. Washington has accepted this position and is holding separate talks with Moscow and Amman over the zones in southern Syria. Israel wants the de-escalation zones in southern Syria to keep Iran, Hizbullah and other Shi'ite militias away from the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the idea of de-escalation zones with Russian President Putin by telephone on Thursday.

2017-07-07 00:00:00

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