Report: Assad offers Israel buffer zone along Syrian border

A Kuwaiti newspaper maintains that the Syrian leader proposed a demilitarized zone along Israel’s border. The same publication claims Netanyahu is seeking the elimination of an Iranian presence near the Golan Heights.

By: World Israel News Staff

Embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad communicated to Russian premiere Vladimir Putin his willingness to establish a demilitarized zone along Syria’s border with Israel in the Golan Heights. The offer was revealed in Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida in a report focusing on Assad’s seemingly impromptu visit last week to Russia.

During the visit, Assad apparently asked Putin to communicate the offer to his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reported the Jerusalem Post. While Netanyahu responded favorably to the offer, which promised a sizable buffer zone according to an unnamed Israeli source, the Israeli leader vowed to continue pursuing Hezbollah in Syria and to destroy any Iranian facilities within about 25 miles of Israel’s border.

Israel’s border with Syria has remained a problematic region, with fighting from the Syrian civil war occasionally spilling into Israel. Military activity within Syria, including arms movements, by Hezbollah and other factions has also necessitated IDF strikes during the past year, some of which were reportedly carried in the last few weeks. The recent collapse of the Islamic State (ISIS) has also affected the political landscape in the region.

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In addition to military actions along the Syrian border, the IDF has also facilitated significant medical relief efforts for Syrian civilians, many of whom have been devastated by the civil war. Until recently, the situation in Syria remained a three-pronged conflict in which Assad’s forces battled rebel factions as well as ISIS.

While Assad’s offer regarding a demilitarized zone on the border on the Golan Heights is reportedly part of a larger agreement to stabilize relations between his nation and Israel, it is also likely that the alleged compact would require Israel to abide by Assad’s continuing  rule in Syria. The extent to which Israel is open to this possibility remains unclear, with the Jewish state objecting to recent ceasefire terms in the Syrian civil war that may permit Iran to increase its influence in the region.