April 21, 2024
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Report: Iranian Forces Retreat 85 Kilometers From Israeli Border

(Yona Schnitzer/TPS) Iran has withdrawn its troops in Syria to 85 kilometers away from the Israeli border, Russia’s special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said earlier this week, adding also that the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) will return to the border in order to uphold the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement. According to Lavrentiev, the decision to return the UN peacekeeping force was made with Israel’s approval.

Lavrentiev’s comments come on the heels of recent reports of Iran’s forces retreating, alongside reports of the Syrian army returning to operate and consolidate power in southern Syria. This week, the Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated Al Akhbar daily reported that fire fights were taking place between the Syrian army and rebel forces in the province of Daraa, which has been under rebel control since the summer of 2015.

In recent weeks, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been consolidating forces around Daraa, preparing to retake the region. Over the past several days the Syrian army has been distributing flyers in the region, announcing their plans to retake the province and warning civilians not to assist or give shelter to rebel fighters.

The increase of fighting in southern Syria has kept Israel’s security apparatus on high alert, with several instances occurring in recent weeks in which missiles were fired in the direction of Israel, subsequently activating missile defense systems on more than one occasion in order to intercept the possible threats.

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