(JNS.org) Russia reportedly rejected a demand by Jerusalem for an extended buffer zone in Syria to keep Iranian forces away from the border with Israel’s Golan Heights.
During talks preceding a July ceasefire agreement, Israel asked both Russia and the United States to block an Iranian presence near the Golan Heights border, but Russia refused, Haaretz reported.
According to the report, the Israelis demanded a buffer zone in Syria from 60-80 kilometers (37- to 50 miles) from its Golan Heights border, but the Russians promised only to keep Iran and its allies from not coming any closer than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
While the report said no Iranian presence has been detected along the border region over the past few months, Israeli officials are concerned about a gradual buildup of Iranian or Hezbollah forces in the region.
Last week Israel purportedly conducted an airstrike against a “Scientific Studies and Researchers Center,” believed to be producing chemical weapons and precision missiles in central Syria.
Following the strike, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel will not tolerate Iran and Hezbollah’s actions in Syria.