Israel Complains Syria Ceasefire Deal Helps Iran

Jonah Bennett | National Security/Politics Reporter

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he rejects the newly-negotiated ceasefire in Syria, despite the deal enjoying strong support from President Donald Trump.

According to Netanyahu, the deal negotiated by the U.S., Russia and Jordan earlier in July to implement a ceasefire in the southwest region of Syria allows the Iranians to markedly expand their presence in the region, Haaretz reports.

Netanyahu, who was in France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Jews being rounded up in Paris, delivered his remarks after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Iran is interested in establishing an air base and naval base in Syria. As such, Netanyahu is totally opposed to the deal.

Politico reported similar nervousness from anonymous Israel officials on Friday, which follows statements Netanyahu’s office made after news of the deal’s signing broke, namely that the deal ought to prevent “the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole.”

Netanyahu made sure to communicate his concerns to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account,” Netanyahu said.

Despite worries from Israel, Trump has lauded the deal as a success. So far, unlike past ceasefires, this deal currently seems successful, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group.

“Syrian ceasefire seems to be holding,” Trump tweeted July 9. “Many lives can be saved. Came out of meeting. Good!”

As part of the deal, all three parties agreed to establish a ceasefire monitoring center in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

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