Israel signals free hand in Syria as US, Russia expand truce

Patriot missile intercepts drone on Israel's border with Syria

Elsewhere in his comments, the Israeli minister said that Tel Aviv had "set red lines" and that it would stand "firm" on them, alluding to the Israeli military strikes in Syria, carried out against suspected Hezbollah arms depots or in retaliation for attacks launched from the Syrian-controlled Golan.

Following the announcement of the previous ceasefire agreement in southern Syria brokered by the U.S. and Russia, Netanyahu came out against the deal, saying it did not sufficiently address Iran's military ambitions in the area. All these reflect the arrangements for the near future in order to impose a fait accompli despite the global agreement which is expected later.

Like the rest of the region's countries, Israel underestimated Iran's infiltration of Syria. Both Iranian and Hezbollah forces have been backing Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Yet, even if major forces agree upon suspending fights, we should be anxious about the new stage indicators of regional confrontations inside and outside Syria.

Israel still considers Hezbollah a forward Iranian battalion in the context of the power play in the Middle East, which would be fueled by the anticipated ceasefire agreement that would acknowledge the Iranian presence in Syria.

Israel signalled 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 Russian Federation try to build up a ceasefire in the area. The aim of these threats is to face the new realities. Regarding Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the new reality saying that "when ISIS is expelled from a place, Iran is replacing it".

A peace agreement is on the cards that will halt the fighting, but it will not address the pernicious influence of Iran and the foreign militias who will control large parts of the country.

Jordan would have also been threatened by the Iranian marching towards its borders from Daraa, if it hadn't been for the United States warnings.

Although Iran does not have borders with Syria, it has expanded the most there. If it hadn't been for the Russian air support, the Iranian militias wouldn't have expanded and wouldn't have survived defeat. The agreement only ends the existence of terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, but will fail in ridding Syria of more risky regional militias. He is the former general manager of Al Arabiya news channel, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, where this article is also published.

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