‘Russia snubbed Israeli demand to keep Iran-backed forces 60km away from border’

Russia reportedly disregarded an Israeli demand two months ago that a ceasefire deal in southern Syria between President Bashar Assad and Syrian rebels, under the auspices of the Washington and Moscow, ensure that Iranian forces and Iran-backed Shiite militants would not be allowed to operate within 60-80 kilometers of the border with Israel, Haaretz reports.

Russia refused to answer the demand, made in July while negotiations for the deal were ongoing, committing only to keeping Iranian-backed fighters five kilometers from the armistice line between those of the Assad regime and the rebels in the Golan Heights.

Israeli had wanted a buffer zone of between 60 and 80 kilometers from the border on the Golan Heights, repeatedly warning against Iran’s military ambitions in the area and an increased Iranian presence on Israel’s northern border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he opposes the deal since it did not sufficiently address Israel’s security needs.

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