In Jordan, Israel and Iran secretly negotiate future of Syria

In Jordan, Israel and Iran secretly negotiate future of Syria

Kerry Wise
May 30, 2018

"We believe that there is no room for any Iranian military presence anywhere in Syria", he said.

The secret agreement was hashed out over the phone between the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman.

Israel is vehemently opposed to Iran maintaining a military presence in Syria, however.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in remarks to the Knesset on Monday that Iran should be pressured to leave Syria altogether.

The diplomatic flurry to prevent further violence comes as a Syrian government offensive on the southern province of Daraa appears imminent after aircraft dropped leaflets last Friday on the area, urging rebels to lay down their weapons or face an offensive.

The United States, Russia, and Jordan agreed previous year to include Daraa in a "de-escalation zone" and freeze lines of conflict there.

The report indicated that Iran used Jordan as a go-between to relay a message to Israel, saying it would not operate in southeastern Syria near the border with Jordan.‎.

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A senior Israeli official made clear that Netanyahu's government would not deem the exclusion of Iranian forces from the border region sufficient.

In return, Israel will not try to stop President Assad's forces retaking the rebel-held areas that abut the Golan Heights and the...

The US warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" in response to any violations of that ceasefire.

Fearing that a fight between Israel and Iranian troops within Syria could undermine the position of fighters loyal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Moscow has called for all non-Syrian fighters to move away from Syria's border with Israel and Jordan.

Sources briefed on the trip told Israel's Channel 10 reporter Barak Ravid that the two officials will be ratifying an existing agreement between Israel and the United States on how to deal with Iran.

According to Elaph, Iran may have been willing to negotiate with Israel this weekend as a result of losses Tehran has sustained in recent Israeli attacks in Syria.