USA delegation visits Israel to soothe concerns over Syria ceasefire deal

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"We have not discussed in detail with our United States colleagues what is going on in the whole territory of Syria, apart from the fact that we have fixed our and Iranian legitimate presence under an invitation of the legitimate Syrian government".

Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi said Sunday that the agreement "does not answer Israel's unequivocal demands that there will be no developments that bring Iranian or Hezbollah forces closer to Israel's border with Syria in the north".

Russian Federation never promised the United States that Iran and Iranian-backed forces would withdraw from Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, adding that their presence in the war-torn country is legitimate.

The PMO did not say when Netanyahu spoke with Putin. According to reports, the new ceasefire agreement would allow for Iranian troops to remain some 5 kilometers from Israel's border.

Describing Israel's security policy as the "right combination of firmness and responsibility", Netanyahu said Monday that he has "informed 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".

In his first response to the agreement, Netanyahu said Monday he told both Washington and Moscow that Israel would continue operating in Syria.

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On Tuesday, Lavrov said Iran maintained a "legitimate" presence in Syria, according to the Interfax news agency.

For this, the secret meeting was interpreted as an Israeli concern from the trio-agreement among Russia, UK and Jordan on cease-fire in south Syria.

Israel has long pressed Moscow, the leading player in the conflict since militarily intervening on behalf of the Assad regime in September 2015, to create a buffer zone of up to 50 km in the Syrian Golan Heights in which Shiite proxies backed by Tehran would be banned.

U.S. officials confirmed the meetings would primarily cover the recent ceasefire deal.

The source added that the Israeli security body fears that the two great forces haven't shown till now actual acts to drive out Iranians from Syria in general, and the south in particular.

Israel has been carrying out occasional airstrikes against Syrian army positions.

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