Iranian Presence in Syria Is Legitimate, Russia Says Amid Israeli Concerns

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According to The Times of Israel, Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot made a secret trip to Brussels last Thursday to meet with General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of the USA army's European command, to discuss Iranian influence in Syria. The agreement was announced Saturday by the United States and Russian Federation in a joint statement calling for "the reduction, and ultimate elimination" of foreign fighters from southern Syria.

Netanyahu's words come two days after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which they agreed to expand the July 7 ceasefire in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

Moscow did not immediately provide details on the deal.

The Iranian presence through proxies on Israel's border is seen "as a major strategic threat and - importantly - increasingly as one that can not easily be addressed by a paltry few kilometers of buffer near the Golan" he continued.

In recent months Israel has held talks with Moscow, Washington and Amman in an attempt to ensure that the agreement will define the buffer zone some 40 kilometers from the borders of the Jewish State. Israel saw that the trio-agreement didn't respond to the Israeli demand to drive out Iranians and their militias from the border with Israel at Golan.

Earliest wine in world found in 8000-year-old jars in Georgia
Testing of the Georgian pieces showed evidence of a slew of acids from wine that had been made inside the erstwhile vessels. Batiuk said the domestication of the grape "eventually led to the emergence of a wine culture in the region".

Israel has largely stayed out of the war but has struck suspected weapon convoys to Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd L) attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem November 12, 2017.

Although reports have said the deal applies to Iranian proxies fighting on behalf of Assad's regime, which would be required to leave the border area and eventually Syria, Reuters quoted an unnamed Israeli official on Monday saying under the deal, militias associated with Iran would be allowed to maintain positions as close as five to seven kilometers (3.1-4.3 miles) to the border in some areas.

"If this works, this is an auspicious signal, would be an auspicious signal, that our policy objective - the objective that I think so many of us share, of getting these guys out of Syria ultimately - that there's a path in that direction", the official said.

Israel's military says it has carried out around 100 strikes in Syria.

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