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New Syria ceasefire deal could leave Iran some five km from Israeli border

Smoke billows from the Syrian village of Hader on November 3, 2017 after a jihadist suicide bomber blows up a vehicle
JALAA MAREY (AFP)
Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes across its frontier with Syria

A new ceasefire agreement negotiated between the US, Russia, and Jordan could leave Iranian-backed forces some five kilometers from Syria's border with Israel.

According to Reuters, an Israeli official said that, under the terms of the deal, Iran would be able to hold military positions some five to seven kilometers from Israel's northern border with Syria.

Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes across its frontier with Syria to prevent any encroachment by Iranian-allied forces, even as the United States and Russia try to build up a ceasefire in the area.

Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, sounded circumspect about the deal between the US and Russia, telling reporters that it "does not meet Israel's unequivocal demand the there will not be developments that bring the forces of Hezbollah or Iran to the Israel-Syria border in the north".

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday affirmed joint efforts to stabilize Syria as its civil war wanes, including with the expansion of a July 7 truce in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

A US State Department official said Russia had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance" from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war. Moscow did not immediately provide details on the deal.

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