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Netanyahu says to continue military operation in Syria

14 November 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has made it clear to the US and Russian Federation that Israel will continue with its operations in Syria.

His remarks came on the heels of an global agreement laying out principles for post-war Syria.

"I have clarified to our friends in Washington and our friends in Moscow that we will operate in Syria, including southern Syria, in accordance with our understanding and in accordance with our security needs", Netanyahu said, describing Israel's security policy as "the right combination of firmness and responsibility". In the case, widely known in Israel as "the meals-ordering affair", Sara Netanyahu and Ezra Saidoff, deputy director of the Prime Minister's Office, allegedly created a false impression between 2010 and 2013 that no cook was employed in the office prime minister's residence, while in fact there were several chefs, according to the ministry.

The agreement, announced in a joint US-Russian statement Saturday, affirms a call for "the reduction, and ultimate elimination" of foreign fighters from southern Syria.

The move, according to one Israeli official briefed on the arrangement, is meant to keep rival factions inside Syria away from each other, but it would effectively keep Iranian-linked forces at various distances from the Israel-held Golan as well. The distance would range from as little as 5-7 kilometers (3-4 miles) to around 30 kilometers (18 miles), depending on current rebel positions in the Syrian controlled area of the Golan Heights, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Israel on Sunday did not offer an official response to the tripartite agreement produced by Russian Federation, the U.S. and Jordan regarding on a cease-fire in southern Syria.

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

Tel Aviv has been pushing Washington and Moscow to deny Iran, Hezbollah, and Shia militias any permanent bases in Syria, and to keep them away from the border with the Golan Heights.

Haaretz reported that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot secretly flew to Brussels on Thursday to meet with Gen. Curtiss Scaparrotti, head of the U.S. army's European Command, to discuss Iranian moves in Syria.

Eisenkot traveled with two brigadier generals, Erez Maisel, the head of the Israel Defense Forces' Foreign Relations Division, and Ram Yavne, the head of the army's Strategic Division.

Netanyahu says to continue military operation in Syria