(JNS.org) The U.S., Russia and Jordan have reportedly reached a cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that will establish a “de-escalation zone” near Israel’s border, where Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah will not be allowed to operate.
Multiple Israeli news outlets reported Saturday that a U.S. official stated all non-Syrian fighters, including Iranian terror proxies, would be expelled from the area near Israel’s border and eventually from all of Syria. The official reportedly did not comment on the size of the buffer zone and when it would be implemented.
Israeli officials did not immediately comment on the issue, but Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani confirmed to the Amman-based Al Ghad newspaper that non-Syrian fighters would be banned from the area.
The Jordanian official also stated that the new cease-fire deal is based on a previous cease-fire for southern Syria that was brokered by the U.S. and Russia in July—an arrangement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had publicly opposed over concern that it perpetuated the presence of Iranian forces near Israel.
Netanyahu had also intensively lobbied Russia and the U.S. to create a 37-50 mile secure buffer zone between Israel and Syria. After Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Israel in October, Moscow reportedly agreed to establish a 6-9 mile buffer zone near the Israeli border, exceeding Russia’s initial promise of a 3-mile buffer.