The Israeli government requested a 37-mile buffer-zone between the Golan and Iranian-backed Shiite forces in Syrian, but Russia denied the request, informing Israel they would ensure only a three-mile buffer zone.
Haaretz News reported on Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was disappointed last Sunday when a US-Russia brokered ceasefire in Syria was announced with no provisions limiting the Iranian presence. Iran is actively involved in the Syrian conflict, and Haaretz reported that the Iranian government is spending 800 million every year to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against rebels.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the subject with reporters at his hotel in New York on Friday, “Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence on our northern borders. An [Iranian] military presence endangers not just us, but also our Arab neighbors.”
No Iranian-backed troops have been reported on Israel’s border but Haaretz reported that “Israeli intelligence expects the Iranians to infiltrate the border area gradually, and that over the long term the Iranians intend on building a military and intelligence presence along the border with Israel. The Iranians intend on using the Syrian Golan Heights as a secondary front against Israel in the case of another war breaking out between Israel and Hezbollah.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, a day before addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
The Israel Defense Forces have just completed a comprehensive 11-day exercise to prepare for potential issues that could arise in a possible war with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah proxy force, based in Lebanon but now also fighting in Syria.