Israel will not allow a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday, a day after Israel destroyed an SA-5 anti-aircraft battery in Syria that fired on IAF planes over Lebanon.
Israel asked Russia and the United States to prevent an Iranian presence, or that of any Shi’ite militia operating under Iranian influence, in southern Syria near the Israeli border in any cease-fire agreement. Israel presented its demand during the talks that preceded the cease-fire agreement in July – but the Russians refused.
Russia has urged Syrian President Bashar Assad not to retaliate against Israel after an airstrike on the country's Scientific Studies and Research Center, which the Syrian regime attributes to Israel, a senior Russia official dealing with Middle East affairs told Yedioth Ahronoth in an conversation in Moscow over the weekend.
Russia has reportedly reassured Israel that it will not allow Iran and its Hezbollah proxy to threaten the Jewish state from Syria, where Moscow is fighting alongside Tehran and the Lebanese terror group on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The UN has awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to people closely associated with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as part of an aid program that critics fear is increasingly at the whim of the government in Damascus, a Guardian investigation has found.
More than 40 Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, accusing Moscow of occupying the country and targeting civilians.
The United States trained members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Greater Syria) (ISIS) at a secret base in Jordan to combat Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria. Now, those same forces are fighting in Iraq, according to World Net Daily.