According to a Russian media report, Foreign Minister Lavrov said Putin’s government is prepared to back Israeli demands that Iranian and Iranian-backed forces (Hezbollah) be kept away at least 37 miles from the Israeli frontier, in the hopes of avoiding further confrontations between their military and Israel’s.
By David Rosenberg
Iran’s allies are mulling limitations on Revolutionary Guard activity in Syrian territory, and may have already begun blocking Iranian access to military facilities in the hopes of avoiding future confrontations with Israel.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, suggested Monday afternoon that his country would accept Israel’s demand that Iranian forces not occupy positions close to the Israeli border.
According to Russia’s RIA outlet, Lavrov said during a news conference in Moscow that only Syrian forces should be deployed along Syria’s southern border, suggesting the Putin government is prepared to back Israeli demands that Iranian and Iranian-backed forces be kept away from the Israeli frontier.
“Of course, the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces must be carried out on a mutual basis, this should be a two-way street,” Lavrov added.
“The result of this work which should continue and is continuing should be a situation when representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic’s army stand at Syria’s border with Israel.”
On Sunday, the Haaretz daily reported that the Kremlin is considering the possibility of requiring that Tehran remove its forces from Israel’s northern border, and limit its deployment of military assets in Syria to areas at least 37 miles from the Israeli frontier.
According to the report, Russian officials are prepared to pressure Iran to pull back its forces away from Israel’s border as part of talks with Israeli officials in the hopes of avoiding confrontations between its military and Israel’s, and to shield the Assad regime from a possibly destabilizing war with the Jewish state.
Lebanese sources claim that Israeli and Russian fighter jets were involved in an “incident” over the skies of Lebanon early Monday morning, Channel 2 reported.
According to Lebanese media outlets, Israel Air Force jets were met by Russian Su-34 fighters over Lebanon and were forced to return to Israeli airspace. The IDF has refused to confirm the report.
Russian forces stationed in Syria reportedly scrambled the jets in an attempt to block IAF activity in the area.
Israel recently vowed to take action against Iranian weapon transfers in Syria and Lebanon, as well as the manufacture of missiles in Iranian-affiliated facilities in Lebanon.
While Russian officials mull limits on Iranian deployments near the Israeli border, sources within Syria claim that the Assad regime has already imposed its own limitations on Iranian access to Syrian military facilities, following a series of targeted strikes on sites used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Syria.
The anti-Assad Zaman al-Wasl outlet reported Monday that in light of recent Israeli military actions against Iranian forces operating out of Syria, the Assad regime has removed Iranian-aligned forces from some of its bases and barred Iran from massing arms at Syrian facilities.
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