Netanyahu signals Israel will act with free hand in Syria

Netanyahu signals Israel will act with free hand in Syria

Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi said Sunday that the agreement "does not answer Israel's unequivocal demands that there will be no developments that bring Iranian or Hezbollah forces closer to Israel's border with Syria in the north".

As the war in Syria seems to be winding down in Assad's favor due to Moscow's intervention, Israel fears that Iran will help Hezbollah produce accurate precision-guided missiles and help Hezbollah and other Shiite militias to strengthen their foothold in the Golan Heights.

The PMO did not say when Netanyahu spoke with Putin.

Representatives of other security branches will also participate in the discussions, which are slated to be held days after Russian Federation, the US and Jordan signed an agreement on a cease-fire in southern Syria.

In addition to the United States and Russia, Jordan is also a party to the deal.

Netanyahu said he told Washington and Moscow Monday that Israel will act according to its "security needs".

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"I have also informed our friends, firstly in Washington and also our friends in Moscow, that Israel will act in Syria, including in southern Syria, according to our understanding and according to our security needs".

In this Saturday, May 9, 2015 file photo, a Hezbollah fighter stands on a hill next to the group's yellow flag in the fields of the Syrian town of Assal al-Ward in the mountainous region of Qalamoun, Syria.

Russian Federation never promised the United States that Iran and Iranian-backed forces would withdraw from Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, adding that their presence in the war-torn country is legitimate. However, according to Israeli media, the new ceasefire will allow such fighters to entrench themselves in areas located only five kilometers from Israel's frontier.

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.

In addition to the Syria agreement, the officials are likely to discuss Iran's alleged construction of a military base less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Israel's Golan border.

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