On May 30, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that all non-Syrian forces must withdraw from the de-escalation zone in southern Syria, which was established by the US, Russia and Jordan in July of 2017.
“As regards the confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria, we have agreements on the southwestern de-escalation zone, these agreements have been reached between Russia, the United States and Jordan. Israel was informed about them as we were working on them. They [agreements] stipulate that this de-escalation zone should consolidate stability, while all non-Syrian forces must be withdrawn from this area. And I think that this should happen as soon as possible,” Lavrov said at the Primakov Readings international think tank summit, according to the Russian news outlet Sputnik.
Local observers believe that Lavrov was referring to Iranian forces and the Lebanese movement Hezbollah. During the last few days, several reports have speculated about a new “Russian-Israeli agreement” under which Iran will be pushed 60km away from Israel’s border.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will travel to Moscow to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 31 in order to finalize the details of the new agreement, according to numerous sources.
Supposedly, the new agreement will allow the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to launch a large scale military operation to recapture areas along the border with Jordan and the contact line with Israel. On May 26, the US warned the SAA from launching such an operation and vowed to take “firm and appropriate measures” in response.
If Russia and Israel manage to finalize an agreement regarding the situation in southern Syria, the US will likely retract its threats as it is only concerned about the Iranian presence in Syria, according to observers.