Netanyahu: Israel Will Act In Syria As Necessary

Netanyahu: Israel Will Act In Syria As Necessary

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he has made clear to the USA and Russian Federation that Tel Aviv will continue to "act in Syria".

Describing Israel's security policy as the "right combination of firmness and responsibility", Netanyahu said Monday that he has "informed our friends in Washington and our friends in Moscow that we will operate in Syria, including southern Syria, in accordance with our understanding and in accordance with our security needs". Israel has said it will not accept a permanent military presence by Iran and its Shiite allies in Syria, especially near the Israeli border.

Israeli media quoted a U.S. official as saying that all non-Syrian fighters, including Iranian sponsored forces, would be expelled from the area near Israel's border and eventually from all of Syria.

His comments come after Trump and Putin released a joint statement Saturday, stating that Washington and Moscow had reaffirmed their joint efforts to stabilize Syria as its civil war continues to abate. The deal does not include a timetable for the evacuation of Iran's forces practically on Israel's borders. Israel has "set red lines and will stand firm on this", he said Sunday.

While the agreement requires all foreign forces - including Iranian troops and those backed by Tehran - to leave Syria, the deal does not set deadlines for their departure. It comes as Damascus aligned forces gain ground while helping the Syrian government battle the Sunni-led rebels.

"We have not discussed in detail with our USA colleagues what is going on in the whole territory of Syria, apart from the fact that we have fixed our and Iranian legitimate presence under an invitation of the legitimate Syrian government".

A team of US National Security Council (NSC) officials have arrived in Israel on Tuesday to discuss the new cease fire in southern Syria brokered by the US and Russian Federation, which Israel says is endangering its security. Those have targeted suspected Hezbollah or Iranian arms depots, or have been in retaliation for shelling from the Syrian-held Golan Heights.

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