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Why the United States, Israel and Russia must unite against Iran's policy of expansion



ANALYSIS / OPINION:

While the Obama administration was pleased with its nuclear deal with Iran, they paid little or no attention to Iran's efforts to support terrorists in the Middle East and their increasing involvement in the Syrian civil war , Warnings from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell on deaf ears in the Obama White House, where he was seen as a hassle and made efforts to depose him in the Israeli elections.

The Syrian civil war has significantly decreased after seven years of terrible death and destruction, now focus on the immediate problems of reconstruction and refugee displacement, as well as the future status of foreign troops who came to Syria to Bashar Assad victory to help over the IS and other rebel forces. These include the Russians, Iranian forces and Hezbollah fighters, who are also supported by Iran.

Russia poses no threat to Israel and has been actively involved in discussions on Israeli security interests. Mr. Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in person in the past six months, and presently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov are in Israel to ensure that Israel does not interfere with Syrian operations in the south Golan Heights and the Israeli concern over Iran exploiting the developing situation in southern Syria

The focus of these discussions with Russia ̵

1; a key to what is happening in Syria today – is what happens when the Assad regime comes to an end the rebels and what can be done to keep the Iranian troops and the Shiite militias out of southern Syria? If Mr. Assad's troops and the Russians finally eliminate the rebels, probably within weeks, there will be a new situation on the border with Israel.

Israel accepts that Mr. Assad has won and is trying to restore the situation in Israel to the Golan Heights, based on the Separation of Forces Agreement of 1974, that 40 years of stability there until the regime's withdrawal under pressure from the rebels four years ago ready made. Mr Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have been mentioning this lately, as has Putin, whose Air Force is helping the Syrian army to clean up remaining ISIS rebels in the pockets near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights.

Russia is now committed to keeping the Iranians and their allies up to 100 kilometers from the Israeli border in an arc that runs east and north of Damascus, an increase of the aforementioned 80 kilometers (about 49 kilometers ) means in earlier talks. Mr. Netanyahu's initial idea was to get Mr. Putin's help to completely remove the Iranians from Syria, but that's obviously something Mr. Putin could not achieve – even with the support of President Trump.

At least Israel demands the removal of Iranian long-range missiles from all over Syria, a halt to rocket production in Syria meant for Hezbollahand a stop to arms smuggling through the Lebanese border. This reflects Israel's biggest security concerns over rocket attacks on Israel outside of Syria's control and the 1974 agreement. In the future, Israel will continue to demand that all Iranian and Hezbollah militants be removed from Syria, although it remains to be seen how this can be achieved, even if Mr Assad wanted them all to go.

Putin and the Russians have responded favorably to Israeli concerns, although it remains to be seen what they can actually afford, even as the "key" to the Syrian situation, and there are still no details on how Russia intends to enforce the new agreement. Already there are indications that Iranian and other Shiite fighters without uniforms or uniforms disguised in uniforms of the Syrian army infiltrate Syrian troops without deciding whether or not to stay in the south.

Apart from the missiles, the problem of an Iranian presence in southern Syria is not immediate for Israel. The Iranian leadership will probably need some time to investigate the new military situation before taking any new moves near the Israeli border. They will also look at the developing Trump-Putin relationship following the meeting in Helsinki and the extent to which the three key parties (Israel, Russia and the United States) are on the same page regarding the limitation of Iranian expansion in the Middle East are especially in Syria.

Last but not least, events in Syria have given Iranians some important lessons. First, Israel has excellent intelligence in Syria. You know exactly where Iranian troops and equipment are in Syria. Second, Israel will not hesitate to attack the Iranian bases and personnel in Syria if its security interests are threatened, in a way that makes clear to Mr Assad and the Russians what is going on. Third, the Russians no longer care if Iranian sides are hit. Both Israel and Russia have pointed out their active "deconflict" operation to avoid potential Russian losses.

At the moment, Israel is not slipping into war with Syria, but limited military action to defend its security interests during the Assad regime's mission. Mr Assad's troops are advancing with increasingly limited resistance from the rebels, while Israel is keeping its contact with the area to a minimum and may soon end the humanitarian mission involving tens of thousands of Syrians from villages across the border with food, medicine and medicine Supplying supplies

At the same time, the Iranians have a great deal of patience and obviously they are playing a long-term strategic game in which the last word still has to be spoken. It is also a unity in which the United States, Israel and Russia must form a united front to effectively deal with Iran.

• Abraham Wagner is Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism

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