Netanyahu conditionally supports new Syria ceasefire

Israel can only welcome a Syria ceasefire that leaves no room for the military presence of Iran and its proxies. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed conditional support for a ceasefire in Syria, during a meeting with his cabinet earlier on Sunday.

“Israel will welcome a genuine ceasefire in Syria but this ceasefire must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular,” Netanyahu stressed.

Netanyahu made his remarks as a new ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia was set to go into effect on Sunday in southwest Syria, near Israel’s Golan Heights region, establishing a “de-escalation zone” in the Syrian province of Deraa as well as in nearby Sweida and Quneitra.

The prime minister also said that he had not only spoken earlier this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the matter but with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as well.

“I had deep discussions about this last week with US Secretary of State Tillerson and with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Netanyahu noted. “Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account.”

Netanyahu also reiterated, as Israeli officials have on numerous occasions, that Israel can never allow Hezbollah to achieve strategic gains.

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“For our part we will continue to monitor developments beyond our borders while strongly upholding our red lines: Prevent the strengthening of Hezbollah via Syria, with emphasis on the acquisition of precision weapons, prevent Hezbollah – or Iranian forces – from establishing a ground presence along our border, and prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole,” Netanyahu added.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News