Russia Military In Southern Syria Near Israel’s Border

Russia is deploying troops to southern Syria, near the Israeli border, Ynet reports citing reports in Arabic-language media.

According to the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel, Russia is building a military base in the area of Quneitra and Dara’a, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. TimesOfIsrael

Russian military forces have replaced the Syrian regime’s military presence in Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria, and have built a base in the area, Syrian opposition sources reported this week.

The move indicates that Russia intends to create a more permanent military presence near Israel’s northern border, and comes after the implementation of a Syrian cease-fire agreement brokered by the U.S. and Russia in July.

The Lebanon-based and Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen media network corroborated the reports, stating that Russian forces have been deployed in the region and are stationed in military posts shared with Syrian army units.

The Syrian army’s 4th division auxiliary force is the only regime unit due for complete withdrawal from southern Syria, while other Syrian military units will remain there, Al Mayadeen reported. Further, the Lebanese media outlet said Russia has built a military base between the city of Damascus and the suburb of Daraa.

Israeli officials remain concerned regarding the presence of the Syrian army as well as Hezbollah and Iranian forces in southern Syria. In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia perpetuates the presence of Iranian forces near Israel. America and Russia responded to Netanyahu’s criticism by saying Israel’s interests would be taken into account in Syria.  JNS

Israel And The Golan Heights

Israel’s top political leaders and military commanders were stunned and shocked last weekend when they found out that US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support the return of the Golan to Syria. Debka

Photo by Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It.
Nimrod Fortress – Golan

The Golan Heights is a plateau 1000 feet above sea level, making it a strategically important military asset.

Those of us who have stood on the Golan’s 1,700 foot steep escarpment, are struck by its immense strategic value overlooking Israel’s fertile Hula Valley and the beautiful harp shaped lake below, called in Hebrew, Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). INN

Map source:
Map source:

There is also concern of Syrian control of the Golan watershed that supplies approximately 30 percent of Israel’s water. Rainwater from the Golan’s catchment feeds into the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee.

Netanyahu on Sunday held an honorary meeting of his cabinet in the Golan Heights.

During a speech at the site on Sunday, he said that Israel would never relinquish its right to the territory in the face of an encroaching threat from Islamic State terrorists and other forces as Syria continues to struggle with a sectarian war that has attracted jihadis. FreeBeacon

Senator Cruz stated:

“Today, the government of Israel reiterated the reality that the Golan Heights are part of Israel’s sovereign territory,” Cruz said. “Given the presence of hostile terrorist organizations ranging from ISIS to Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, it is foolhardy and dangerous for elements in the international community to try to pressure Israel to abandon the Golan to the chaos engulfing Syria.”

The path to peace cannot involve Israel’s abdication of its own security,” Cruz said. “I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu’s courage in standing up for the safety of his people. America stands with you.”  FreeBeacon

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