Only Syrian army should be on country's southern border: Russian Federation

Only Syrian army should be on country's southern border: Russian Federation

Syria is planning offensives against rebels in the southwestern area of the country, near the Jordan border.

Syrian state media has reported leaflet drops on rebel territory there urging fighters to accept government rule, and a UK-based monitor has reported army movements into the south - two signs of a potential military offensive. Israel has made it clear that it will not intervene in the battles in the tri-border area, as long as Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias are not involved.

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.‎.

According to Israeli sources, Russian Federation has grown increasingly frustrated with Iran's presence in Syria and is anxious that fighting between Israel and Iran threatens its hard-fought victories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to meet with European leaders to discuss Iran next week.

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

Both Russia and Iran have played pivotal roles in helping reverse Assad's fortunes, and Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, last week reassured Tehran that a pullout was not up for discussion.

Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Dr. Mostafa Moslehzadeh, reportedly received instructions from senior officials to conduct the negotiations with Israel in Amman.

On May 10, Israel launched a large-scale attack on what it said were Iranian-operated targets in Syria, raising fears of a major confrontation. "Russian Federation has given it room to act against Iran-linked military interests and appears to be more interested in balancing contending fighting coalitions than returning every last piece of territory to the Assad regime's control", the report continues.

One participant told Elaph that the Iranians "arrived at a quick agreement" that its forces would not intervene in fighting near the Golan Heights and the Israel-Jordan border, surprising the Israeli representatives.

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