The "Israeli" entity made no official response on Sunday to the trilateral agreement between Russia, America and Jordan on a cease-fire in southern Syria. The agreement, signed over the weekend, requires all foreign forces, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Shia groups, to leave Syria.
But it does not set deadlines, and secret understandings among the parties provide for the IRGC and Iran's proxy forces to withdraw only a short distance from the "Israeli" border, at least in the near term. "Israeli" military figures are troubled by this and by the fact that the superpowers seem unwilling to take genuine measures to kick Iran out of Syria in general, and southern Syria in particular.
The entity's Channel 2 News reported Sunday night that army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Eisenkot secretly flew to Brussels on Thursday to meet with Gen. Curtiss Scaparrotti, head of the US army's European Command. The meeting dealt mainly with Iranian moves in the Middle East, and especially Syria.
Eisenkot and Scaparrotti had met just two weeks earlier at an international gathering of chiefs of staff hosted by Washington. A second meeting so soon afterward presumably reflects the extent of Israel's concern over recent developments.
Over the weekend, the BBC, quoting Western intelligence sources, reported that satellite photos show the Iranians are secretly building a base near Damascus. War Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that the entity won't allow Syria to become "a forward base" for "the Shi'ite axis."
The "Israeli' entity's repeated statements to this effect - which have been made, inter alia, in recent meetings with American, Russian and European politicians - attest to the growing concern of "Israeli" military and political leaders about Iran's moves in Syria. The entity is presumably trying to warn Iran that it would view certain moves as crossing a red line and would consider military action to thwart them.
But the trilateral agreement provides only a partial answer to the entity's concerns. Its attached map, which has not yet been published, specifies how far away the IRGC and the Shia groups, including Hezbollah, must stay from the "Israeli" border. In September, Haaretz reported that the entity wanted them kept 50 to 60 kilometers away, but the Russians initially agreed to only five kilometers.
The new map reflects a complicated compromise. In most areas it will apparently keep the Shia groups 20 kilometers from the border, but in some places the distance will shrink to just five kilometers.
The tension with Iran is joined by the developing crisis in Lebanon over the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is still in Riyadh. Senior Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun, have accused Saudi Arabia over the last few days of holding Hariri against his will, and Hezbollah has accused Riyadh of trying to foment a war between it and the "Israeli" entity.
Though the situation in the north is so far confined to an exchange of verbal threats, on the Gaza border, the "Israeli" Occupation Force [IOF] is genuinely on high alert. It has beefed up its forces along the border in preparation for the possibility that Islamic Jihad might try to carry out a retaliatory attack to avenge the entity's destruction of a cross-border tunnel two weeks ago.
Source: Haaretz, Edited by website team