Is war looming?
IDF’s Chief of Staff toured Israel’s Golan Heights to investigate scenarios the military may execute should Syria fulfill its announced intention to return it’s army to Quneitra, part of the demilitarized buffer zone of the 1974 armistice agreement signed following the Yom Kippur War.
By Alex Fishman
The 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria may be in danger of collapsing, with Syria’s announced intention to return military forces to the town of Quneitra, located three kilometers from the Israeli border.
The city is located in the buffer zone between Israel and Syria, that according to the Separation Agreement is supposed to remain demilitarized.
The arrival of the Syrian military in the city would test Israel’s demand that the agreement be fully implemented.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot visited Moshav Alonei HaBashan on Wednesday in the eastern Golan Heights in order to access the situation and the possible scenarios that could erupt as a result.
The IDF is preparing for the possibility that the Syrians will not respect the 1974 agreement, which could lead to a military conflict with Israel.
The Separation Agreement, which is part of an overall armistice arrangement that ended hostilities following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, promises, among other things, guarantees immunity for Syrian refugees who flee to Quneitra.
According to the Russian RIA agency, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss the issue next Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the official visit to Moscow.
The report says that Hezbollah and Iranian military forces are in the process of leaving the area.
It also appears that during the talks between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman with their Russian counterparts, the latter made a commitment that the Iranians will not be permitted to entrench their forces within 100 miles from the Israeli border—which has so far only been partially implemented.
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