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Israel rejects Russian supervision of Syria safe zones

Syrians living in Aleppo flee the city due to ongoing regime forces attacks and move to opposition controlled areas on December 1,2016 [Ibrahim Ebu Leys/Anadolu Agency]
Syrians living in Aleppo flee the city due to ongoing regime forces attacks and move to opposition controlled areas on December 1,2016 [Ibrahim Ebu Leys/Anadolu Agency]

Israel opposes the Russian army’s supervision of safe zones which have been established along the Syrian border.

As part of peace talks to end the conflict in Syria, safe zones have been established along Syria’s border with Turkey, Jordan and Israel. The latter has objected to the role Turkey and Iran have played in determining where the safe zones should be.

Haaretz newspaper reported that a senior US envoy visited Israel two weeks ago and met with senior security, army and foreign ministry officers in order to discuss the possibility of establishing safe zones on the Syrian-Israeli border and in the liberated part of the Syrian Golan Heights.

The newspaper also mentioned that the idea of ​​establishing safe zones throughout Syria surfaced after US President Donald Trump took office this year, and that the White House and the Kremlin have supported this solution as one of the possibilities to ending the Syrian crisis.

Read:Turkey, Russia, Iran to form working group on Syria

Israel has made a number of demands, Haaretz reported, including that negotiations on the safe area on its borders be separate from the talks taking place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in which both Turkey and Iran take an active role in. It demanded that these two countries have no role in determining the safe zones in southern Syria.

According to the newspaper, the US administration has adopted the Israeli position and has therefore held separate talks with Russia and Jordan.

Israel has demanded also that the safe zones along the border with Syria should be used to eradicate Iran, Hezbollah and “Shia militias” from the Israeli border and from the Jordanian border.

#WarInSyria

The third demand was that Israel should distance itself from the ongoing war in Syria and should not be dragged into it by taking an active role in the safe zones, whether in terms of monitoring, supervising or preserving security.

An Israeli officer told the newspaper that Russia had proposed that its army control the safe zones in southern Syria but Tel Aviv made it clear to the Americans that it opposes that and prefers US supervision.

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