by Ilan Evyatar/TPS
Russia and the United States took Israel’s security interests into account in establishing a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday. His comments came a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told French President Emmanuel Macron that Israel was opposed to the deal because it allowed Iran to entrench itself in the war-torn country.
“I can guarantee that the American side and we did the best we can to make sure that Israel’s security interests are fully taken into consideration,” Lavrov told reporters in Minsk, where he was attending a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Lavrov added that preparatory work ahead of the agreement, which was announced earlier this month on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany, had been “conducted with all interested parties, including with Israel.”
The agreement is guaranteed by Russia, America, and Turkey, while Jordan is also a party to the deal.
According to various media reports, the agreement specifies that Iranian forces and Hezbollah will not be allowed to set up a presence near the Golan Heights border with Israel.
Meanwhile, former National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror said Monday in a conference call with reporters organized by The Israel Project that Israel would have to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from building up a “launching pad in Syria.”
Amidror warned that Iran and Hezbollah were building bases and infrastructure in Syria and said “Israel should prevent that, whatever the price.”
“If that is not taken into account by those making the arrangements, the Americans, the Russians and others, that might lead the IDF to intervene and to destroy every attempt to build infrastructure in Syria,” Amidror said. “ We will not let the Iranians and Hezbollah be the forces that will win from the long and brutal war in Syria and move the focus to Israel.”